Multicenter validation of recombinant, natural and synthetic antigens used in a single multiparameter assay for the detection of specific anti-nuclear autoantibodies in connective tissue disorders

Clin Exp Rheumatol. Mar-Apr 1999;17(2):205-14.


Objectives: We investigated the feasibility of using a single multi-parameter test based mainly on recombinant autoantigens for the detection of anti-nuclear autoantibodies, and analyzed the agreement between this test format and conventional techniques.

Methods: The presence of autoantibodies was determined by a line immunoassay (LIA) in 755 sera derived from patients with different autoimmune connective tissue disorders. All sera were previously tested by standard assays that are routinely used at the 8 participating European centers.

Results: The overall sensitivity and specificity of autoantibody detection by LIA was similar or higher as compared to combined conventional techniques (CCT). In particular, the detection of anti-Ro52 in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) sera (P = 0.004) and anti-LA in both SLE (P < 0.0009) and in Sjögren's syndrome (P < 0.0009) sera was significantly more sensitive when using LIA compared to CCT. By contrast, CCT was never more sensitive than LIA for any of the markers.

Conclusion: The LIA is a reliable alternative to a combination of conventional techniques for the detection of specific anti-nuclear autoantibodies. The multi-parameter test also reveals autoantibody reactivities that may not be detected when only a limited number of conventional techniques are applied.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Connective Tissue Diseases / immunology*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods
  • Immunoblotting
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Autoantigens
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins