Background: Up to 44% of patients treated with infliximab and 7% of patients treated
with etanercept reported to have anti-drug antibodies within the first 6 months of treatment. Recently,
anti-TNF-α therapies have been reported to be employed in the induction of the druginduced
Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between anti-TNFα antibodies
and various manifestations of lupus erythematous.
Methods: We enrolled a total of 56 cases divided into 28 known cases of rheumatoid arthritis and
28 cases of ankylosing spondylitis patients and 56 controls. The case group was divided into 4
groups according to the underlying disease (RA or AS) and treatment regimen (infliximab or etanercept).
ANA and anti-dsDNA levels and lupus criteria were assessed at the beginning of the study
and 4 months after the initiation of anti-TNFα.
Results: 36% and 21% of RA patients treated with infliximab, were ANA and anti-dsDNA positive
after 4 months (P=0.003, P=0.025). 28% and 7% of RA patients treated with etanercept, were ANA
and anti-dsDNA positive after 4 months (P=0.009, P=0.15). 21% and 7% of AS patients treated
with infliximab, were ANA and anti-dsDNA positive, respectively (P=0.025, P=0.15). 14% and 7%
of AS patients treated with etanercept, were ANA and anti-dsDNA positive, respectively (P=0.63,
P=0.15). Three patients who were positive for auto-antibodies developed three criteria for SLE.
Conclusion: Infliximab potentially may increase both ANA and anti-dsDNA levels in rheumatoid
arthritis, but only ANA in ankylosing spondylitis patients. In general, clinicians should consider
different clinical symptoms of ATIL, which may be present as a lupus-like syndrome similar to
idiopathic SLE or classical DIL.