Anti-Smith antibody is associated with disease activity in patients with new-onset systemic lupus erythematosus


Although anti-Smith (Sm) antibody is a highly specific antibody for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the significance of anti-Sm antibody in patients with SLE is unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the association between anti-Sm antibodies and disease activity in patients with new-onset SLE. We included patients who were tested for anti-Sm antibodies at SLE diagnosis and within 12 months after diagnosis. SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) was obtained at the time of the anti-Sm antibody test. The baseline disease activity was compared between patients with and without anti-Sm antibodies. The longitudinal association between disease activity and anti-Sm antibodies was also evaluated in total patients and in those with anti-Sm antibodies. Among 92 patients who were tested for anti-Sm antibodies at SLE diagnosis, 67 and another 67 patients were followed up for the presence of anti-Sm antibodies at 6 and 12 months, respectively. Although the baseline SLEDAI was comparable in patients with and without anti-Sm antibodies, the serum level of anti-Sm antibody was significantly correlated with SLEDAI (P = 0.003). At 12 months, anti-Sm antibody positivity was associated with higher SLEDAI and anti-dsDNA titer (P = 0.002, both). In addition, the changes in anti-Sm antibody titer over 12 months were correlated with the alterations in SLEDAI (P = 0.029).Anti-Sm antibody was associated with the baseline disease activity and the alteration of disease activity in patients with new-onset SLE. Monitoring of anti-Sm antibody titer may help assess the disease activity in SLE.

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This study was supported for English editing service from Editage by Cactus.



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SS Ahn and SM Jung conceived and designed the work; SS Ahn, J Yoo, and SM Jung acquired and analyzed the data; SS Ahn, S-W Lee, JJ Song, Y-B Park, and SM Jung interpreted the data; all authors contributed to drafting and revising the work, and approved the final version of the manuscript; all authors agreed to all aspects of the work.

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Correspondence to Seung Min Jung.

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Ahn, S.S., Jung, S.M., Yoo, J. et al. Anti-Smith antibody is associated with disease activity in patients with new-onset systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatol Int 39, 1937–1944 (2019).

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  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Anti-Smith antibody
  • Disease activity
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index