The Diagnostic Performance of Early Sjogren's Syndrome Autoantibodies in Juvenile Sjogren's Syndrome: The University of Florida Pediatric Cohort Study

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Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical validity of early Sjogren's syndrome (SS) autoantibodies (eSjA), which were originally marketed for early diagnosis of SS, for juvenile SS (JSS) in a recently identified pediatric cohort. Methods A total of 105 symptomatic subjects with eSjA results available were evaluated at the Center for Orphaned Autoimmune Disorders at the University of Florida and enrolled for this study. JSS diagnosis was based on the 2016 ACR/EULAR SS criteria. Demographic/clinical/laboratory parameters were compared between JSS (n = 27) and non-JSS (n = 78) for % positivity, sensitivity, and specificity of eSjA (SP1, anti-salivary protein; CA6, anti-carbonic anhydrase VI; PSP, anti-parotid secretory protein) and classic SS-autoantibodies (cSjA; ANA, SSA/SSB, RF, and others) either alone or in combination. Associations between eSjA and diagnostic/glandular parameters were also determined by Fisher's exact test. Results Compared to non-JSS, JSS patients exhibited sicca symptoms demonstrating reduced unstimulated salivary flow rate (USFR) and abnormal glandular features revealed by salivary gland ultrasound (SGUS). Among cSjA, ANA demonstrated the highest sensitivity of 69.2%, while SSA, SSB, and RF showed around 95% specificities for JSS diagnosis. The % positive-SSA was notably higher in JSS than non-JSS (56% vs. 5%). Of eSjA, anti-CA6 IgG was the most prevalent without differentiating JSS (37%) from non-JSS (32%). Sensitivity and specificity of eSjA were 55.6 and 26.9%, respectively. Autoantibodies with potentially applicable specificity/sensitivity for JSS were seen only in cSjA without a single eSjA included. There were no associations detected between eSjA and focus score (FS), USFR, SSA, SGUS, and parotitis/glandular swelling analyzed in the entire cohort, JSS, and non-JSS. However, a negative association between anti-PSP and parotitis/glandular swelling was found in a small group of positive-SSA (n = 19, p = 0.02) whereas no such association was found between anti-PSP-positive compared to anti-PSP-negative. JSS and non-JSS groups differed in FS, USFR, and EULAR SS Patient Reported Index Dryness/Mean in CA6/PSP/ANA, SP1, and SSA-positive groups, respectively. Additionally, a higher FS was found in RF-positive than RF-negative individuals. Conclusions eSjA underperformed cSjS in differentiating JSS from non-JSS. The discovery of clinical impact of eSjA on early diagnosis of JSS necessitates a longitudinal study.
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