The presence of anti-alpha-fodrin autoantibodies has been reported to be a highly specific and sensitive test for the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome (SjS). We looked (in Nijmegen) for anti-alpha-fodrin, anti-Ro60, and anti-La autoantibodies in a cohort of 51 patients with rheumatic diseases (primary SjS , secondary SjS 6, rheumatoid arthritis [RA] 12, systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE] 6, and scleroderma 6) and in 28 healthy subjects, using ELISA, immunoblotting, and immunoprecipitation. The same samples were analyzed with an alternative anti-alpha-fodrin ELISA in Hanover. The Nijmegen ELISA of the sera from primary SjS showed sensitivities of 43% and 48% for IgA- and IgG-type anti-alpha-fodrin antibodies, respectively. The Hanover ELISA showed sensitivities of 38% and 10% for IgA- and IgG-type anti-alpha-fodrin antibodies, respectively. The ELISAs for alpha-fodrin showed six (Nijmegen) and four (Hanover) anti-alpha-fodrin-positive RA sera. IgA and IgG anti-fodrin antibodies were also present in four patients with secondary SjS. The sensitivities of Ro60 and La-antibodies in the Nijmegen ELISA were 67% and 62%, respectively. Unlike anti-alpha-fodrin antibodies, all anti-Ro60 and anti-La positive sera could be confirmed by immunoblotting or RNA immunoprecipitation. Thus, anti-Ro and anti-La autoantibodies were more sensitive than anti-alpha-fodrin autoantibodies in ELISA and were more frequently confirmed by other techniques. Anti-La antibodies appear to be more disease-specific than anti-alpha-fodrin antibodies, which are also found in RA sera. Therefore, the measurement of anti-alpha-fodrin autoantibodies does not add much to the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome.