AECA represent a new family of autoantibodies detectable in systemic autoimmune diseases. Different findings support their poten-tial importance both from a diagnostic and a prognostic point of view: 1. AECA do not seem to be a mere epiphenomenon; 2. Are not related to a polyclonal B-cell activation; 3. React with surface endothelial antigens; 4. Correlate with disease activity; 5. In some cases behave as an indirect marker of in vivo endothelial damage; 6. Correlate with disease activity; and 7. In vitro experiments support a possible pathogenetic role in sus-taining autoimmune vasculitis. On the other hand, AECA do not display an absolute cell specificity, being crossreactive, at least in part, with other cell types and lack of disease specificity. Up to now, AECA determination are still matter of research but their clinical usefulness in autoimmune diseases could increase when simpler assays for the detection will be available.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy