COVID-19 shares clinical features with anti-melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5 positive dermatomyositis and adult Still’s disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective To investigate the similarities and differences between Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and autoimmune and autoinflammatory rheumatic diseases characterised by hyperferritinaemia, such as antimelanoma differentiation-associated protein 5 (MDA5) autoantibody-positive dermatomyositis and adult Still’s disease. Methods We reviewed consecutive, newly diagnosed, untreated patients with COVID-19, anti-MDA5 dermatomyositis, or adult Still’s disease. We compared their clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics, including the prevalence of macrophage activation syndrome and lung involvement in each disease. Results The numbers of patients with COVID-19, anti-MDA5 dermatomyositis, and adult-onset Still’s disease with hyperferritinaemia (serum ferritin ≥500ng/dL) who were included for main analysis were 22, 14, and 59, respectively. COVID-19 and adult Still’s disease both featured hyperinflammatory status, such as high fever and elevated serum C-reactive protein, whereas COVID-19 and anti-MDA5 dermatomyositis both presented with severe interstitial lung disease and hypoxaemia. While two-thirds of the patients in each group met the criteria for macrophage-activated syndrome that is used in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, the HScore, an indicator of haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, was low in anti-MDA5 dermatomyositis and COVID-19 even in severe or critical cases. The findings of chest computed tomography were similar between COVID-19 and anti-MDA5 dermatomyositis. Conclusion COVID-19 shared clinical features with rheumatic diseases characterised by hyperferritinaemia, including anti-MDA5 dermatomyositis and adult Still’s disease. These findings should be investigated further in order to shed light on the pathogenesis of not only COVID-19 but also the aforementioned rheumatic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-638
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and experimental rheumatology
Volume39
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May

Keywords

  • Adult Still’s disease
  • COVID-19
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Macrophage activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology

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