Background: For the serological diagnosis of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases, a two-tier approach starting with sensitive antinuclear antibody (ANA) detection by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) on HEp-2 cells followed by characterization of positive findings with different immunoassays is recommended. To overcome drawbacks of this approach, we developed a novel technique allowing the combination of screening and simultaneous confirmatory testing. For the first time, this creates the basis for second generation ANA testing. Methods: ANA and autoantibodies (autoAbs) to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), CENP-B, SS-A/Ro52, SS-A/Ro60, SS-B/La, RNP-Sm, Sm, and Scl-70 were determined by IIF and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively, and compared to simultaneous analysis thereof by second generation ANA analysis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (n=174), systemic sclerosis (n=103), Sjögren's syndrome (n=46), rheumatoid arthritis (n=36), mixed and undetermined connective tissue diseases (n=13), myositis (n=21), infectious disease (n=21), autoimmune liver disease (n=93), inflammatory bowel disease (n=78), paraproteinemia (n=11), and blood donors (n=101). Results: There was very good agreement of second generation ANA testing with classical one by IIF and ELISA regarding testing for ANA and autoAbs to dsDNA, CENP-B, SS-B, RNP-Sm, Scl-70, SS-A/Ro52, and SS-A/Ro60 (Cohen's κ>0.8). The agreement for anti-Sm autoAb was good (κ=0.77). The differences of both approaches were not significant for autoAbs to SS-B/La, RNP-Sm, Scl-70, SS-A/Ro60, and SS-A/Ro52 (McNemar's test, p>0.05, respectively). Conclusions: Second generation ANA testing can replace the two-tier analysis by combining IIF screening with multiplex confirmative testing. This addresses shortcomings of classical ANA analysis like false-negative ANA findings and lack of laboratory efficiency and standardization.
- antinuclear antibody
- digital fluorescence
- second generation ANA testing
- systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical