We discuss the presence of anti-keratin antibodies (AKA) of the IgG class in patients with defined juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). An indirect immunofluorescence test and rat oesophagus substrate was used for the detection and quantification of AKA antibodies in patients' sera. Overall 33/60 patients with JIA had sera positive for AKA (55 %, P = 0,0001) ranging from 1:10 to 1:160 dilutions. Following idiopathic arthritis of childhood classification criteria AKA occurred in 2/7 patients with systemic disease (28,6 %), in 13/30 patients with RF negative polyarthritis (43,3 %, P = 0,008) and in 15/18 RF positive polyarthritis (83,3 %, P = 0,000002). AKA were also found in a small cohort of patients with oligoarthritis (1/3) and psoriatic arthritis (2/2). AKA positivity occurred in 3/26 healthy controls at a 1:20 dilution. The presence of AKA was correlated as well as with the severity of the disease. Our study revealed that AKA was present overall in 18/29 patients (62%) with severe JIA and in 12/26 patients (46,2 %) with non-severe disease, however this did not reach statistical significance (P = 0,18). We also observed that AKA remained positive regardless of disease activity. AKA were detectable in 55,6 % patients with active JIA and in 48,6 % patients in the complete or near remission.
This research was supported by a European Commission (Acronym: EUROBANK, contract no: QOL-2000-14.1), web site http://www.ncl.ac.uk and by grant of 2nd Medical Faculty, Charles University in Prague, VZ no. 111300003.