The clinical significance of antinucleolar antibodies

S. Khan, A. Alvi, S. Holding, M. L. Kemp, D. Raine, P. C. Doré, W. A.C. Sewell

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The importance of antinucleolar antibodies seen by indirect immunofluorescence on HEp-2 cells, although associated with systemic sclerosis (SSc), in unselected patients is unknown. Aims: To determine the true clinical significance of antinucleolar antibodies in an unselected patient population. Methods: Antinucleolar antibody (ANoA) positive samples were identified in the immunology laboratory during routine autoimmune screening tests; case notes were reviewed using a standard proforma. Results: 104 patients with ANoA were identified and ANoA+ samples were subclassified into homogeneous, clumpy and speckled antinucleolar types. SSc was evident in only two (1.8%) patients. Other connective tissue diseases were identified in 33 patients (32%); 22 patients (21%) had evidence of various malignancies. Both disordered liver function and anaemia were seen in 22 patients and were the commonest laboratory abnormalities. Conclusions: Neither the presence nor subtype of ANoA is specific for systemic sclerosis. Laboratory comments appended to results should reflect this fact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-286
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


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