Article: The Role of Clinical Features and Serum Biomarkers in Identifying Patients with Incomplete Lupus Erythematosus at Higher Risk of Transitioning to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Current Perspectives
Authors: Erin Sternhagen, Brittany Bettendorf, Aleksander Lenert, Petar S Lenert
Journal: J Inflamm Res. 2022 Feb 18;15:1133-1145.
Discovery of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) enabled earlier diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and other ANA+ connective tissue diseases (CTD). Rheumatologists increasingly encounter high referral volume of ANA+ patients. It has been estimated that only a small percentage of these patients will eventually transition to either SLE or other specified CTD. Incomplete lupus erythematosus (ILE) has been defined as a subset of patients who have some SLE-specific clinical manifestations but do not meet currently accepted classification criteria for SLE. Several studies have been performed with the goal of identifying clinical features, serum and tissue biomarkers that can distinguish those patients with ILE at risk of transitioning to SLE from those who will not. Increased autoantibody diversity, presence of anti-double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) antibodies, high expression of type I and type II interferon (IFN)-gene products, increased serum levels of B-cell-activating factor of the TNF family (BAFF), and certain serum cytokines and complement products have been identified as markers with positive predictive value, particularly when combined together. Once this patient population is better characterized biochemically, clinical trials should be considered with the primary objective to completely halt or slow down the transition from ILE to SLE. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) appears to be a promising agent due to its good tolerability and low toxicity profile and open-label studies in ILE patients have already shown its ability to delay the onset of SLE. Other therapeutics, like those targeting abnormal type I and type II IFN-signatures, B-cell specific signaling pathways, complement activation pathways and high BAFF levels should also be evaluated, but the risk to benefit ratio must be carefully determined before they can be considered.
Link to journal online: https://www.dovepress.com/the-role-of-clinical-features-and-serum-biomarkers-in-identifying-pati-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-JIR