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Table 4 Patient characteristic analysis according to blister fluid heat map clusters

From: Multiplex cytokine analysis of dermal interstitial blister fluid defines local disease mechanisms in systemic sclerosis

Group by heat map clustering Diffuse/limited patient Disease duration (years) Skin score Antibodies Current therapy Past therapy Current steroid
Group 1 DcSSc17 8 24 fs, RNApol HCQ   No
  Interleukin-6 DcSSc20 1 27 nuc MMF   Yes
  DcSSc14 1 38 ACA MMF   Yes
  DcSSc19 5 28 fs, U3RNP HCQ Campath1 No
  DcSSc16 2 34 hom, Scl70 MTX CYC Yes
  LcSSc6 3 6 ACA    No
  DcSSc15 5 35 hom, Scl70 + Ro MMF   Yes
  DcSSc18 15 24 hom, Scl70 HCQ   No
  Mean (SEM)   5 (1.7) 27 (3.5)     
Group 2 LcSSc2 23 6 fs, Scl70 + Ro HCQ, MMF   Yes
  Interferon gamma DcSSc1 10 16 crs, nRNP + Ro MMF, MTX CYC Yes
  DcSSc9 33 28 nuc AZA MTX, MMF, CIC Yes
  DcSSc4 11 30 hom, Scl70 MMF, IMI AZA, CYC No
  DcSSc6 6 24 fs, RNA pol MMF, HCQ CYC Yes
  DcSSc7 13 9 nuc, HCQ   No
  DcSSc11 2 34 hom, Scl70 MTX CYC Yes
  DcSSc2 8 8 hom, Scl70 HCQ MMF No
  DcSSc8 20 30 hom + nuc, Scl70    No
  Mean (SEM)   14 (3.2) 21 (3.6)     
Group 3 DcSSc10 3 12 nuc IVIG MMF Yes
  Quiescent LcSSc1 6 4 ACA    No
  DcSSc3 8 15 fs, RNA pol MTX MMF Yes
  DcSSc13 2 12 fs + cyto MTX   Yes
  DcSSc5 20 10 hom, Scl70 MMF CYC Yes
  LcSSc5 12 15 fs    No
  DcSSc12 10 14 hom, Scl70 AZA CYC No
  LcSSc3 3 6 ACA    No
  LcSSc4 4 6 fs + nuc MTX   Yes
  Mean (SEM)   7.5 (1.9) 10 (1.4)     
  1. Patients were grouped according to blister fluid heat map cluster. Patients in Group 1 (interleukin-6 high, innate inflammatory) were more likely to have early DcSSc with high skin score, Group 2 (interferon gamma high, effector T cell) were mainly late stage DcSSc, and Group 3 (quiescent pattern) were more likely to be LcSSc or DcSSc with low skin scores. Analysis of variance showed significant difference for disease duration between groups (P = 0.042) and skin score (P = 0.003). Scheffe post hoc analysis showed higher skin score in Group 1 compared with Group 3 (P = 0.005), otherwise P = not significant. Pattern of anti-nuclear antibody staining: homogeneous (hom), fine speckled (fs), nucleolar (nuc), coarse speckled (crs), cytoplasmic pattern (cyto). Therapy: azathioprine (AZA), cyclophosphamide (CYC), cyclosporine (CIC), hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), mycophenolate (MMF), methotrexate (MTX). ACA, anticentromere antibody; DcSSc, diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis; LcSSc, limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis; SEM, standard error of the mean.