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Are Plasma Homocysteine Levels Associated With Interstitial Lung Disease Among Patients With Dermatomyositis?

Are Plasma Homocysteine Levels Associated With Interstitial Lung Disease Among Patients With Dermatomyositis?

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 13:50

Elevated levels of plasma homocysteine among patients with dermatomyositis (DM) appear to be linked with interstitial lung disease (ILD), according to results of a new study.

“Recently, associations of plasma homocysteine levels with autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematodes and systemic sclerosis have been reported. However, no study analyzed the association between plasma homocysteine levels and [DM],” the researchers wrote. “The objective of this study was to examine plasma homocysteine levels and their clinical associations in patients with DM.”

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The researchers analyzed plasma homocysteine levels in 28 patients with DM and 22 healthy control subjects.

Participants with DM had significantly higher levels of plasma homocysteine (15.8 ± 1.1 µmol/L ) than healthy controls (8.5 ± 0.5 µmol/L), according to the study. 

Patients with DM and elevated plasma homocysteine levels had significantly a higher prevalence of mechanic’s hand, ILD, high serum Krebs von den Lungen‐6 (KL‐6), surfactant protein‐D and creatine kinase levels, and anti‐aminoacyl‐tRNA synthetase (ARS) antibody positivity, the researchers reported. Patients with DM who had mechanic’s hand, ILD, or anti‐ARS antibody had significantly higher plasma homocysteine levels than patients without those features. Plasma homocysteine levels were also associated with serum KL‐6 levels.

“These results suggest that the pathogenesis of elevated plasma homocysteine levels may be associated with ILD in DM patients, especially with anti‐ARS antibody, and further examination is required,” the researchers concluded.

—Jolynn Tumolo


Sekiguchi A, Endo Y, Yamazaki S, Uchiyama A, Shimizu A, Motegi SI. Plasma homocysteine levels are positively associated with interstitial lung disease in dermatomyositis patients with anti-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase antibody. J Dermatol. Published online September 6, 2020. doi:10.1111/1346-8138.15602

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