The following is a summary of the “Coexistence of Anti-Ro52 Antibodies in Anti-MDA5 Antibody–Positive Dermatomyositis Is Highly Associated With Rapidly Progressive Interstitial Lung Disease and Mortality Risk,” published in the February 2023 issue of Rheumatology by Lv, et al.

Patients with dermatomyositis (DM) who test positive for anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 antibodies (anti-MDA5+) often develop an extra muscular complication known as interstitial lung disease (ILD), which is associated with a higher risk of mortality and a higher risk of disability. The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation between anti-Ro52 antibody status and patient characteristics and prognosis in anti-MDA5+ diabetes. A total of 246 patients with anti-MDA5+ DM were evaluated. 

Using the stepwise forward-selection method, they included variables chosen from univariate Cox regression analysis in a multivariate Cox regression model to calculate hazard ratios and 95% CIs for RP-ILD and death while controlling for potential confounders. Statistical significance was assumed to exist at a 2-tailed P < 0.05. There were 246 patients enrolled who were anti-MDA5+ DM; 70 of them were male, and they were, on average, 53.1 (12.4) years old. About 64.2% of patients (158 out of 246) tested positive for anti-Ro52. 

Patients with anti-Ro52 DM had a higher rate of RP-ILD (log-rank P<0.001) and a higher mortality rate (log-rank P = 0.01). Patients with anti-Ro52-positive DM and a short disease course were at increased risk of RP-ILD and death. An active rash was a protective factor in terms of mortality on its own. There was a strong correlation between anti-Ro52 antibodies and an increased risk of RP-ILD and mortality in patients with anti-MDA5+ DM. Patients who had a severe inflammatory response, a short disease course, and no rash had a worse prognosis.