Myositis overlap syndromes

Yiannis Ioannou, Shabina Sultan, David A. Isenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Myositis-overlap syndromes are characterized by a heterogeneous group of clinical syndromes of which many are closely linked with specific autoantibodies. Clinical and laboratory-based research into this fascinating group of syndromes have given us clues in elucidating the role of immunogenetic, environmental influences on the etiopathogenesis of autoimmune disease. Patients positive for anti-snU1 RNP antibody often present with a constellation of 'autoimmune-related' clinical features, often not fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for a single disease entity. Controversy remains as to whether this represents a single disease entity, namely mixed connective tissue disease, or an undifferentiated autoimmune rheumatic/overlap syndrome. Anti-PM-Scl antibodies are linked with myositis-scleroderma overlap and generally tend to follow a benign course, often responding well to minimal immunosuppression. More recently the number of anti-tRNA synthetase antibody- associated overlap syndromes has expanded; antibodies to the autoantigen histidyl-tRNA synthetase (Jo1) being the commonest and best characterized. Patients with these antibodies often have severe interstitial lung disease and the poorest prognosis, often necessitating aggressive immunosuppressive therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-474
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Rheumatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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