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Measurement and clinical significance of antinuclear antibodies

Donald B Bloch, MD
Section Editor
Robert H Shmerling, MD
Deputy Editor
Monica Ramirez Curtis, MD, MPH


The detection of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in serum facilitates the diagnosis of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and related autoimmune diseases. Conversely, the absence of ANA in the serum of a patient with suspected SLE also provides important information in that it makes the diagnosis much less likely. This topic will review:

The indirect immunofluorescence test for ANA

The significance of common ANA staining patterns and titer of ANA

Additional techniques to detect ANA

Advantages and disadvantages of methods to detect ANA

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 15, 2017.
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