Antinuclear Antibodies

The ANA test is a helpful serologic marker in the diagnosis of LE and other rheuma-tologic conditions. Approximately 96% of patients with SLE are positive for ANA, whereas 4%-63% of patients with CLE are positive for ANA. When reference laboratories switched from using animal substrates to the HEp-2 cell line in the mid-1980s to detect ANA, many ANA-negative patients became positive. This may help explain why in studies done earlier than the mid-1980s, patients with CLE had lower ANA positivity rates than in those done after the mid-1980s.

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