Prognostic implications of antibodies to Ro/SSA and soluble liver antigen in type 1 autoimmune hepatitis

Authors



Albert J. Czaja, MD, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street S. W. Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA
Tel: +1 507-284-8118
Fax: +1 507-284-0538
e-mail: czaja.albert@mayo.edu

Abstract

Background: Antibodies to soluble liver antigen are frequently co-expressed with antibodies to ribonucleoprotein/Sjögren's syndrome A (Ro/SSA) in autoimmune hepatitis.

Aims: Our goals were to evaluate the prognostic implications of antibodies to Ro/SSA in type 1 autoimmune hepatitis and to determine their independence from antibodies to soluble liver antigen.

Methods: Three hundred and seventy-six serum samples from 170 patients were tested by enzyme immunoassays.

Results: Sixty-five patients (38%) had antibodies to Ro52; 11 patients (6%) had antibodies to Ro60; and 27 patients had antibodies to soluble liver antigen (16%). Twenty-six patients with antibodies to Ro52 had antibodies to soluble liver antigen (40%), and 26 patients with antibodies to soluble liver antigen had antibodies to Ro52 (96%). Patients with antibodies to Ro52 and antibodies to soluble liver antigen had a higher frequency of human leucocyte antigen (HLA) DRB1*03 (78 vs 50%, P=0.05) and lower occurrence of HLA DRB1*04 (22 vs 57%, P=0.01) than patients with antibodies to Ro52 alone. Antibodies to Ro52 alone [hazard ratio (HR), 2.90; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.18–7.14, P=0.02] and antibodies to Ro52 in conjunction with antibodies to soluble liver antigen (HR, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.07–8.43, P=0.04) were independently associated with the development of cirrhosis and hepatic death or liver transplantation.

Conclusions: Antibodies to Ro52 alone and antibodies to Ro52 in conjunction with antibodies to soluble liver antigen are independently associated with a poor prognosis in type 1 autoimmune hepatitis. The prognostic implications ascribed to antibodies to soluble liver antigen may reflect their almost invariable concurrence with antibodies to Ro52.

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