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The aim of this study was to report the frequency of autoimmune disorders and autoantibodies in 22 patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO), as well as whether the seropositivity for autoantibodies differs between anti-aquaporin 4 (AQP4) positive and AQP4 negative NMO patients.
Demographic, medical records, and a profile of autoantibodies were evaluated in 22 NMO patients, including AQP4, anti-thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor, antinuclear antibodies (ANA), anti-thyroperoxidase (anti-TPO), anti-thyroglobulin (anti-Tg), anti-double-stranded DNA, anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic, anti-cyclic citrullinate peptide, rheumatoid factor, anti-SSA/Ro, anti-SSB/La, anti-Smith antibodies (anti-Sm), anti-ribonucleoprotein, anti-nucleosome, and anti-Scl70. Thyroid-stimulating hormone and free thyroxin were measured.
The frequency of women was higher than men (95.5% vs. 4.5%) and 68.2% were Afro-Brazilians. Six (27.3%) patients presented other autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimoto thyroiditis (n=2), Graves’ disease (n=1), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (n=1), systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis (n=1), and Raynaud’s phenomenon (n=1). The most frequent autoantibodies were anti-AQP4 (54.5%), anti-nucleosome (31.8%), ANA (27.3%), anti-TPO (22.7%), and anti-Tg (22.7%). Difference was not observed in the frequency of autoimmune disorders when the patients were compared according to their anti-AQP4 status.
The results of the present study underscored that the NMO patients present high frequency of autoantibodies against cellular antigens and the presence of autoimmune disorders. Further studies with large number of NMO patients may contribute to advances in the understanding of NMO disease mechanisms.
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