Diagnosis and risk stratification in patients with anti-RNP autoimmunity

M. F. Carpintero, L. Martinez, I. Fernandez, A. C. Garza Romero, C. Mejia, Y. J. Zang, R. W. Hoffman, E. L. Greidinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Introduction Anti-RNP autoantibodies occur either in mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) (with a frequently favorable prognosis), or in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) cases with aggressive major organ disease. It is uncertain how to assess for the risk of severe disease in anti-RNP + patients. Methods Following institutional review board-approved protocols, clinical data and blood were collected from patients with known or suspected anti-RNP autoimmunity and normal controls in a cohort study. Samples were screened for parameters of immune activation. Groups were compared based on clinical diagnoses, disease classification criteria, disease activity and specific end-organ clinical manifestations. Results Ninety-seven per cent of patients satisfying Alarcon-Segovia MCTD criteria also met Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinic (SLICC) SLE criteria, while 47% of the anti-RNP + SLE patients also met MCTD criteria. Among SLICC SLE patients, MCTD criteria were associated with reduced rates of renal disease (odds ratio (OR) 4.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-14.0), increased rates of Raynaud's phenomenon (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.3-9.5) and increased serum B-cell maturation antigen, transmembrane activator and CAML interactor and TNFα levels. Circulating immune markers and markers of type I interferon activation were not effective at distinguishing clinical subgroups. Conclusions Among anti-RNP patients, the question of MCTD versus SLE is not either/or: most MCTD patients also have lupus. MCTD classification criteria (but not a broad set of immune markers) distinguish a subset of SLE patients at reduced risk for renal disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1066
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015


  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • classification criteria
  • inflammation
  • mixed connective tissue disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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