Autoantibody Predictors of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Systemic Sclerosis.

To assess the prevalence and burden of systemic sclerosis- (SSc) related gastrointestinal dysfunction (SSc-GI) and to evaluate associations with demographic, clinical and serological characteristics.Patients completed the UCLA SCTC GIT 2.0 questionnaire for SSc-GI disease to assess the burden of GI disease across multiple functional and psychological domains. Questionnaire scores were assessed using non-parametric and quantile regression analyses.Our cohort included 526 patients with SSc, with a typical distribution of disease-associated autoantibodies (ACA, ARA, ATA, PM-Scl, U1RNP, U3RNP). We demonstrated associations between hallmark antibodies and the domain-specific burden of GI disease. In particular, ACA, ARA, and ENA-negative demonstrated increased SSc-GI disease burden, whilst PM-Scl conferred relative protection. In a distributional analysis, associations with autoantibodies were particularly marked in those with the highest burden of GI disease.There is a significant burden of SSc-GI disease in patients with SSc; reflux and bloating symptoms are most prominent. SSc hallmark antibodies may predict increased risk of SSc-GI disease, in particular ACA and ARA, whilst PM-Scl may be protective.

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Authors: Fiza Ahmed, Rory H Maclean, Svetlana I Nihtyanova, Voon H Ong, Charles D Murray, Christopher P Denton