Anti-TNFa treatment in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and anti-Ro/SSA antibodies

  • I. Cavazzana |
  • F. Franceschini
  • E. Danieli
  • M. Frassi
  • M. Vianelli
  • R. Gorla
  • P. Airò
  • R. Cattaneo


Objective: To analyse clinical efficacy, onset of new autoantibodies or symptoms of autoimmune disease in patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis with anti-Ro/SSA treated with anti-TNFa agents. Methods: Six anti-Ro/SSA positive subjects with RA were studied every six months until 24th month of treatment in order to detect ANA titer (IFI), anti-dsDNA (Farr), anti-cardiolipin and anti-beta2glycoprotein I (ELISA), anti-ENA (CIE). The titre of anti-Ro/SSA were analysed by ELISA. Four patients were diagnosed as overlap RA/SS. Results: Six female patients (mean age 58ys, SD 9.8ys), with long-standing RA (mean 7ys, range 5-22 ys) were treated with anti-TNFa agents for a mean of 31 months (SD: 20.4 m): 4 with Infliximab and 2 with Etanercept. All the patients showed a significant reduction of DAS until 24th month (p<0.006) with stability of sicca symptoms. The titer of ANA and anti-Ro/SSA was stable, while 4 subjects developed anti-dsDNA at low titer within 6-12 months. One patient withdrawn the treatment, because of lupus-like features; another one, with HCV hepatitis, interrupted Etanercept because of elevation of liver enzymes. No anticardiolipin or antibeta2GPI antibodies were detected. One subject with RA-SS also presented a primary biliary cirrhosis: clinical and histological features of cholangitis remained stable during Etanercept treatment. Conclusions: Anti-TNFa treatment showed good efficacy and safety in anti-Ro/SSA positive patients with RA. Anti-ds- DNA antibodies at low titer appeared in most patients while the onset of lupus-like disease could be considered a rare event also in RA patients with a rich autoimmune repertoire.



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How to Cite
Cavazzana, I., Franceschini, F., Danieli, E., Frassi, M., Vianelli, M., Gorla, R., Airò, P., & Cattaneo, R. (1). Anti-TNFa treatment in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and anti-Ro/SSA antibodies. Reumatismo, 57(4), 267-272.

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