Elevated subclinical double-stranded DNA antibodies and future proliferative lupus nephritis

Stephen W. Olson, Jessica J. Lee, Lisa K. Prince, Thomas P. Baker, Patricia Papadopoulos, Jess Edison, Kevin C. Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background and objectives Elevated anti-double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) antibody and C-reactive protein are associated with proliferative lupus nephritis (PLN). Progression of quantitative anti-dsDNA antibody in patients with PLN has not been compared with that in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) without LN before diagnosis. The temporal relationship between anti-dsDNA antibody and C-reactive protein elevation has also not been evaluated. Design, setting, participants, & measurements This case-control Department of Defense Serum Repository (established in 1985) study compared longitudinal prediagnostic quantitative anti-dsDNA antibody and Creactive protein levels in 23 patients with biopsy-proven PLN (Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 1993-2009) with levels in 21 controls with SLE but without LN matched for patient age, sex, race, and age of serum sample. The oldest (median, 2601 days; 25%, 1245 days, 75%, 3075 days), the second to last (368; 212, 635 days), and the last (180; 135, 477 days) serum sample before diagnosis were analyzed. Results More patients with PLN had an elevated anti-dsDNA antibody level than did the matched controls at any point (78% versus 5%; P<0.001),<1 year (82% versus 8%; P<0.001), 1-4 years (53% versus 0%; P<0.001), and >4 years (33% versus 0%; P=0.04) before diagnosis. A rate of increase>1 IU/ml per year (70% versus 0%; P<0.001) was most specific for PLN. The anti-dsDNA antibody levels increased before C-reactive protein did in most patients with an antecedent elevation (92% versus 8%; P<0.001). Conclusions Elevated anti-dsDNA antibody usually precedes both clinical and subclinical evidence of proliferative LN, which suggests direct pathogenicity. Absolute anti-dsDNA antibody level and rate of increase could better establish risk of future PLN in patients with SLE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1702-1708
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 7 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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