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The research group is conducting clinical and translational research on the juvenile- and adult-onset systemic, multi-organ inflammatory rheumatic syndromes; a heterogeneous group of chronic, relapsing-remitting disorders characterized by high disease burden and reduced survival.

About the group

With a long-term aim of better and more precise therapeutic targeting of these disorders, we focus our research on the identification of prognostic and predictive biomarkers. As this approach requires access to unbiased and high resolution data on clinical outcome measures, we have established a number of prospective population based patient cohorts, including, but not limited to, nationwide cohorts on systemic sclerosis, mixed connective tissue disease and juvenile dermatomyositis.

Long-term objective


  • perform research that contribute to development of better and more precise therapeutic targeting in juvenile and adult-onset systemic, inflammatory rheumatic disorders (SIRD)


  • provide high quality, data on disease evolution and outcome across different SIRD populations
  • approach mechanistic studies on Systemic sclerosis


  • Systemic sclerosis; nationwide cohort, gut microbiota, role of CCL21, borderline PH
  • SLE; regional cohort, genetics
  • ANCA vasculitis; regional cohort
  • Juvenile arthritis; follow-up studies



  • Department of Lung Medicine (May Brit Lund)
  • Department of Radiology (Mogens Aaløkken)
  • Department of Cardiology (Arne Andreassen)
  • Institute of Pathology (Guttorm Haraldsen, Espen Bækkevold)


  • All the Departments of Rheumatology and Pediatrics in Norway


  • Oliver Distler, Switzerland
  • Ingrid Lundberg, Karolinska
  • John Belperio, UCLA


  • Reiseter S, Gunnarsson R, Corander J, Haydon J, Lund MB, Aaløkken T, Taraldsrud E, Hetlevik S, Molberg Ø. Disease evolution in mixed connective tissue disease: results from a long-term nationwide prospective cohort study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2017 Dec 21;19(1):284.
  • Hoffmann-Vold AM, Fretheim H, Midtvedt Ø, Kilian K, Angelshaug M, Chaudhary A, Gunnarsson R, Brunborg C, Garen T, Andreassen AK, Gude E, Molberg Ø. Frequencies of borderline pulmonary hypertension before and after the DETECT algorithm: results from a prospective systemic sclerosis cohort. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2017 Dec 11. Epub ahead of print]
  • Reiseter S, Gunnarsson R, Mogens Aaløkken T, Brit Lund M, Mynarek G, Corander J, Haydon J, Molberg Ø. Progression and mortality of interstitial lung disease in mixed connective tissue disease: a long-term observational nationwide cohort study. Rheumatology. 2017 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Avouac J, Guignabert C, Hoffmann-Vold AM, Ruiz B, Dorfmuller P, Pezet S, Amar O, Tu L, Van Wassenhove J, Sadoine J, Launay D, Elhai M, Cauvet A, Subramaniam A, Resnick R, Hachulla E, Molberg Ø, Kahan A, Humbert M, Allanore Y. Stromelysin-2 (MMP-10), a novel mediator of vascular remodeling underlying pulmonary hypertension associated with systemic sclerosis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017; 69:2209-2221.
  • Gudbrandsson B, Molberg Ø, Palm Ø. TNF inhibitors appear to inhibit disease progression and improve outcome in Takayasu arteritis; an observational, population-based time trend study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2017 May 18;19(1):99.
  • Volkmann ER, Hoffmann-Vold AM, Chang YL, Jacobs JP, Tillisch K, Mayer EA, Clements PJ, Hov JR, Kummen M, Midtvedt Ø, Lagishetty V, Chang L, Labus JS, Molberg Ø, Braun J. Systemic sclerosis is associated with specific alterations in gastrointestinal microbiota in two independent cohorts. BMJ Open Gastroenterol. 2017 Apr 1;4(1):e000134.
  • González-Gay MA, Montecucco C, Selva-O'Callaghan A, Trallero-Araguas E, Molberg O, (32),  Cavagna L; AENEAS (American and European NEtwork of Antisynthetase Syndrome). Timing of onset affects arthritis presentation pattern in antisyntethase syndrome. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2017 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Andersson H, Kirkhus E, Garen T, Walle-Hansen R, Merckoll E, Molberg Ø. Comparative analyses of muscle MRI and muscular function in anti-synthetase syndrome patients and matched controls: a cross-sectional study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2017 Jan 25;19(1):17
  • Hoffmann-Vold AM, Midtvedt Ø, Tennøe AH, Garen T, Lund MB, Aaløkken TM, Andreassen AK, Elhage F, Brunborg C, Taraldsrud E, Molberg Ø. Cardiopulmonary Disease Development in Anti-RNA Polymerase III-positive Systemic Sclerosis: Comparative Analyses from an Unselected, Prospective Patient Cohort. J Rheumatol. 2017;44:459-465
  • Rothwell S, Cooper RG, Lundberg IE, (13) Molberg Ø, (11), Lamb JA, Chinoy H. Immune-array Analysis in Sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis Reveals HLA-DRB1 Amino Acid Heterogeneity across the Myositis Spectrum. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017;69:1090-1099
  • Carmona FD, Vaglio A, (24), Molberg Ø, (18), González-Gay MA, Martín J. A Genome-wide Association Study Identifies Risk Alleles in Plasminogen and P4HA2 Associated with Giant Cell Arteritis. Am J Hum Genet. 2017;100(1):64-74.
  • Gudbrandsson B, Wallenius M, Garen T, Henriksen T, Molberg Ø, Palm Ø. Takayasu arteritis and pregnancy; - a population based study on outcome and mother-child related concerns. Arthritis Care Res 2017; 37:458-465
  • Hov JR, Boberg KM, Taraldsrud E, Vesterhus M, Boyadzhieva M, Solberg IC, Schrumpf E, Vatn MH, Lie BA, Molberg Ø, Karlsen TH. Anti-neutrophil antibodies define clinical and genetic subgroups in primary sclerosing cholangitis. Liver Int. 2017;37:458-465
  • Gudbrandsson B, Molberg Ø, Garen T, Palm Ø. Prevalence, Incidence, and Disease Characteristics of Takayasu Arteritis by Ethnic Background: Data From a Large, Population-Based Cohort Resident in Southern Norway. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017;69:278-285.
  • Oma I, Andersen JK, Lyberg T, Molberg Ø, Whist JE, Fagerland MW, Almdahl SM, Hollan I. Plasma vitamin D levels and inflammation in the aortic wall of patients with coronary artery disease with and without inflammatory rheumatic disease. Scand J Rheumatol. 2017;46:198-205
  • Barth Z, Witczak BN, Flatø B, Koller A, Sjaastad I, Sanner H. Microvascular Abnormalities Assessed by Nailfold Capillaroscopy In Juvenile Dermatomyositis After Medium to Long-Term Follow-Up. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Aug 13. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Tollisen A, Selvaag AM, Aulie HA, Lilleby V, Aasland A, Lerdal A, Flatø B. Physical Functioning, Pain and Health-Related Quality of Life in Adults with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: A Longitudinal 30-Year Follow-Up Study. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Selvaag AM, Kirkhus E, Törnqvist L, Lilleby V, Aulie HA, Flatø B. Radiographic damage in hands and wrists of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis after 29 years of disease duration. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2017 Apr 11;15(1):20
  • Berntsen KS, Tollisen A, Schwartz T, Kirkhus E, Aaløkken TM, Lund MB, Flatø B, Sjaastad I, Sanner H. Submaximal Exercise Capacity in Juvenile Dermatomyositis after Longterm Disease: The Contribution of Muscle, Lung, and Heart Involvement. J Rheumatol. 2017 Jun;44(6):827-834.
  • Stray-Pedersen A, Sorte HS, (76), Flatø B, (14), Orange JS, Lupski JR. Primary immunodeficiency diseases: Genomic approaches delineate heterogeneous Mendelian disorders. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017;139:232-245.
  • Frid P, Nordal E, (15), Flato B, Zulian F, Baildam E, Saurenmann RK, Lahdenne P, Ravelli A, Martini A, Pistorio A, Ruperto N; Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation. Temporomandibular Joint Involvement in Association With Quality of Life, Disability, and High Disease Activity in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017;69: 677-686.
  • Hetlevik SO, Flatø B, Rygg M, Nordal EB, Brunborg C, Hetland H, Lilleby V. Long-term outcome in juvenile-onset mixed connective tissue disease: a nationwide Norwegian study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017;76: 159-165.
  • Bossini-Castillo L, Campillo-Davó D, (15), Hoffmann-Vold AM, (11), Martin J; Spanish Scleroderma Group. An MIF Promoter Polymorphism Is Associated with Susceptibility to Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Diffuse Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis. J Rheumatol. 2017 44:1453-1457.
  • Volkmann ER, Tashkin DP, Li N, Roth MD, Khanna D, Hoffmann-Vold AM, Kim G, Goldin J, Clements PJ, Furst DE, Elashoff RM. Mycophenolate Mofetil Versus Placebo for Systemic Sclerosis-Related Interstitial Lung Disease: An Analysis of Scleroderma Lung Studies I and II. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017;69:1451-1460.
  • Bottai M, Tjärnlund A, (18) Sanner H, (9), Lundberg IE; International Myositis Classification Criteria Project consortium, the Euromyositis register and the Juvenile Dermatomyositis Cohort Biomarker Study and Repository. EULAR/ACR classification criteria for adult and juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathies and their major subgroups: a methodology report. RMD Open. 2017 Nov 14;3(2):e000507.
  • Lundberg IE, Tjärnlund A, (20), Sanner H, Selva-O'Callaghan A, Song YW, Vencovsky J, Ytterberg SR, Miller FW, Rider LG; International Myositis Classification Criteria Project consortium, The Euromyositis register and The Juvenile Dermatomyositis Cohort Biomarker Study and Repository (JDRG) (UK and Ireland). 2017 European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for adult and juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathies and their major subgroups. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017;76:1955-1964.
  • Minoia F, Bovis F, (10), Sanner H, (8), Ravelli A, Horne A; Pediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization, the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance, the Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group, and the Histiocyte Society. Development and Initial Validation of the Macrophage Activation Syndrome/Primary Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis Score, a Diagnostic Tool that Differentiates Primary Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis from Macrophage Activation Syndrome. J Pediatr. 2017 Oct;189:72-78.e3.
  • Lilleker JB, Vencovsky J, (10), Andersson H, (12), Lundberg IE, Chinoy H; all EuroMyositis contributors. The EuroMyositis registry: an international collaborative tool to facilitate myositis research. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Skorpen CG, Lydersen S, Gilboe IM, Skomsvoll JF, Salvesen KÅ, Palm Ø, Svean Koksvik HS, Jakobsen B, Wallenius M. Influence of disease activity and medications on offspring birth weight, pre-eclampsia and preterm birth in systemic lupus erythematosus: a population-based study. Ann Rheum Dis. Epub 2017 Nov 1.
  • Tashbayev B, Rusthen S, Young A, Herlofson BB, Hove LH, Singh PB, Rykke M, Aqrawi LA, Chen X, Utheim ØA, Utheim TP, Palm Ø, Jensen JL. Interdisciplinary, Comprehensive Oral and Ocular Evaluation of Patients with Primary Sjögren's Syndrome. Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 7;7(1):10761.
  • Rusthen S, Young A, Herlofson BB, Aqrawi LA, Rykke M, Hove LH, Palm Ø, Jensen JL, Singh PB. Oral disorders, saliva secretion, and oral health-related quality of life in patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome. Eur J Oral Sci. 2017Aug;125(4):265-271.
  • Aqrawi LA, Galtung HK, Vestad B, Øvstebø R, Thiede B, Rusthen S, Young A, Guerreiro EM, Utheim TP, Chen X, Utheim ØA, Palm Ø, Jensen JL. Identification of potential saliva and tear biomarkers in primary Sjögren's syndrome, utilising the extraction of extracellular vesicles and proteomics analysis. Arthritis Res Ther.2017 Jan 25;19(1):14.
  • Götestam Skorpen C, Lydersen S, Gilboe IM, Skomsvoll JF, Salvesen KÅ, Palm Ø, Koksvik HSS, Jakobsen B, Wallenius M. Disease Activity During Pregnancy and the First Year Postpartum in Women With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Aug;69(8):1201-1208.
  • Herrick AL, Pan X, (13), Midtvedt Ø, (23), Trad GS, Denton CP. Treatment outcome in early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis: the European Scleroderma Observational Study (ESOS). Ann Rheum Dis. 2017;76: 1207-1218.
  • Roth J, Ravagnani V, (14), Lilleby V, (9), Selvaag AM, Swen N, Ting TV, Tzaribachev N, Vega-Fernandez P, Vojinovic J, Windschall D, D'Agostino MA, Naredo E; OMERACT Ultrasound Group. Preliminary Definitions for the Sonographic Features of Synovitis in Children. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Aug;69(8):1217-1223.Norby GE, Mjøen G, Bjørneklett R, Vikse BE, Holdaas H, Svarstad E, Aasarød K. Outcome in biopsy-proven Lupus nephritis: Evaluation of biopsies from the Norwegian Kidney Biopsy Registry. Lupus. 2017 Jul;26(8):881-885.
  • Norby GE, Mjøen G, Bjørneklett R, Vikse BE, Holdaas H, Svarstad E, Aasarød K. Outcome in biopsy-proven Lupus nephritis: Evaluation of biopsies from the Norwegian Kidney Biopsy Registry. Lupus. 2017 Jul;26(8):881-885.


Published Aug. 10, 2018 10:21 AM - Last modified June 11, 2020 1:28 PM


Group leader


  • Øyvind Molberg
  • Anders Heiervang Tennøe
  • Berit Flatø
  • Kristine Risum
  • Sigrun Skaar Holme
  • Anna Hoffmann-Vold
  • Anita Tollisen
  • Anne Marit Selvaag
  • Gudrun Norby
  • Helena Andersson
  • Helga Sanner
  • Henriette Didriksen
  • Hilde Haukeland
  • Håvard Fretheim
  • Karin Kilian
  • Karoline Lerang
  • Maylen N. Castens
  • Ragnar Gunnarsson
  • Torhild Garen
  • Vibeke Lilleby
  • Øyvind Midtvedt
  • Øyvind Palm
  • Vikas K. Sarna
Detailed list of participants