REVIEW – May 2020

Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) – most significant group of diagnostic autoantibodies

Authors: Sander Aunap, Kaja Metsküla, Raivo Uibo

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Abstract

Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) are useful in the diagnosis of various autoimmune diseases. The International Consensus on ANA Patterns (ICAP) initiative gave rise to a major classification of antinuclear and cytoplasmic autoantibodies detectable by an indirect immunofluorescence assay on HEp2 cells. Immunofluorescence patterns indicate specific targets of autoantibodies and related autoimmune disorders. Antinuclear antibodies are relatively frequently found in apparently healthy individuals, and in disease groups other than ANA-associated autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AARD). Today, much attention is given to  negative association between anti-DFS70 antibodies and AARD. Identification of anti-DFS70 antibodies may be helpful in the interpretation of positive ANA results in cases where no AARD-related autoantibodies are detected.