Related diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus,
Sjogren's syndrome, progressive systemic sclerosis, and mixed connective tissue
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic disease characterized by
inflammatory changes in joints and related structures that result in crippling
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory disease of
connective tissue that affects the skin, joints, kidneys, nervous system, and
mucous membranes. A characteristic light-induced butterfly rash or erythema may
be present across the nose. The disease may be acute or chronic. Symptoms
from any organ system may be present. The disease occurs most often in
Sjogren's syndrome (SS) is a benign chronic disease characterized by a lack of
tears and dryness of the eyes and mouth with little or no saliva. It often occurs
secondary to RA or one of the other connective tissue disorders. The disease
occurs most often in women.
Progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS) is a chronic illness characterized by a
fibrous thickening of the skin and several internal organs. Two-thirds of the
patients are female.
Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is a recently defined syndrome whose
designation is reserved for patients with combined clinical features of RA, SLE,
Of the antinuclear antibodies discussed in this lesson, the ones strongly
associated with SLE are anti-native-DNA, anti-DNP, and anti-Sm.
High titers of anti-RNP are found in all patients with MCTD. Low titers may be
seen in SLE.
High titers of antinucleolar antibodies are highly indicative of PSS.