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Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies and associated diseases: a review of the clinical and laboratory features.

There have been a number of recent advances in this field. First, the "International Consensus Statement on Testing and Reporting of Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies (ANCA)" has been developed to optimize ANCA testing. It requires that all sera are tested by indirect immunofluorescent (IIF) examination of normal peripheral blood neutrophils and, where there is positive fluorescence, in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for antibodies against both proteinase 3 ( PR3) and myeloperoxidase ( MPO). Testing will be further improved when international standards and common ELISA units are available. Second, new diagnostic criteria for the small vessel vasculitides that take into account ANCA-positivity and target antigen specificity as well as histologic features are currently being produced. Third, we understand that the complications associated with treatment of the ANCA-associated vasculitides are often more hazardous than the underlying disease, and regimens that use effective but less toxic agents are being evaluated. The factors associated with increased risk of relapse, however, remain incompletely understood. Finally, ANCA with specificities other than PR3 and MPO are present in many nonvasculitic autoimmune diseases. Their clinical significance is still largely unclear, and some of the target antigens are present in other cells as well as neutrophils and thus are not strictly "ANCA."[1]

References

  1. Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies and associated diseases: a review of the clinical and laboratory features. Savige, J., Davies, D., Falk, R.J., Jennette, J.C., Wiik, A. Kidney Int. (2000) [Pubmed]
 
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