I have a hard time trying to figure out what these little three letter words mean in the scope of bloodwork for Sjogrens patients. I have been doing a bit of research and my conclusion is this:
Antibodies SSA and SSB complexes are found in the circulation of patients with Sjogrens's syndrome, mainly in those with the primary form of the syndrome. Their presence is associated with long disease duration, earlier disease onset, parotid gland enlargement, systemic manifestations and also with hypergammaglobulinemia, rheumatoid factors and monoclonal type II cryoglobulins. While anti-Ro (SSA) antibodies are not specific for SS, anti-La (SSB) antibodies seem to be specific. However, a few patients diagnosed with SS do not necessarily test positive with SSA and SSB. Does this mean that SS has not been around as long for them?
John Hopkins Lupus Center describes them this way...
Anti-Ro/SSA and Anti-La/SSB Antibodies
October 15, 2008
Anti-Ro/SSA and Anti-La/SSB are antibodies found mostly in people with systemic lupus (30-40%) and primary Sjogren’s syndrome. They are also commonly found in people with lupus who have tested negative for anti-nuclear antibodies. Anti-Ro and anti-La can also be found in other rheumatic diseases, such as systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and polymyositis, and are present in low titers in about 15% of healthy individuals. These antibodies are not highly specific for systemic lupus, but they are associated with certain conditions, including extreme sun sensitivity, a clinical subset of lupus called subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE), and a lupus-like syndrome associated with a genetic deficiency of a substance called complement, a system of proteins that helps mediate your body’s immune response. In addition, babies of mothers with anti-Ro and anti-La antibodies are at an increased risk of neonatal lupus, an uncommon condition that produces a temporary rash and can lead to congenital heart block. Therefore, women with lupus who wish to become pregnant should be tested for these antibodies.
I know with my last pregnancy I my SSA & SSB was monitored greatly and I had 29 ultrasounds with them looking at Braydon's heart to be sure it was developing properly. God answered our prayers and he has a perfect little heart. SO does my oldest.
Do you know anything else about these two antibodies?