Polyautoimmunity Common in Lupus

by Nancy Walsh: For More Info, Go Here…

A substantial number of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) had features of other autoimmune conditions, but treatment with the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine appeared to be protective against this polyautoimmunity, Spanish researchers found.

Among a nationwide cohort of 3,679 SLE patients, 13.6% were found to have polyautoimmunity, with the most common type of additional condition being autoimmune thyroiditis, in 7.9%, according to Antonio Fernández-Nebro, MD, of the University of Malaga, and colleagues.

However, the use of antimalarial drugs was associated with a halving of the likelihood of polyautoimmunity (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.38-0.67), the team reported in Rheumatology.

Patients were considered to have polyautoimmunity if, in addition to fulfilling the criteria for SLE, they also had features of autoimmune thyroiditis, mixed connective tissue disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, or inflammatory myopathy. Those with SLE plus two or more other autoimmune conditions were classified as having the more extreme multiple autoimmune syndrome (MAS).

The researchers also determined whether patients had secondary Sjogren’s syndrome, secondary antiphospholipid syndrome, or a family history of autoimmune disease, and what treatments had been used.

The observation that hydroxychloroquine was underused in these patients was potentially important, although the cross-sectional design of the study precluded any assumption of causality. Nonetheless, “while this finding has to be confirmed, the lower frequency of antimalarial drugs in patients with polyautoimmunity suggests that these agents could have a protective effect against polyautoimmunity,” the authors concluded.

Leave a Reply