Fourteen patients with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) have been investigated for the presence of several serum autoantibodies: antinuclear (ANA), anti-single-stranded and double-stranded DNA, anti-histones, anti-Sm, anti-ribonucleoprotein, anti-SSA/SSB, anti-PM-1, anti-Jo-1, anti-mitochondrial, anti-smooth muscle, anti-gastric parietal cells, anti-cardiolipin (ACA) antibodies and rheumatoid factor. Patients were negative for all autoantibodies except for ANA and ACA. ANA were detected in 50% of the patients when tested on rat liver, but the percentage of positivity rose to 86% when HEp-2 cells were used as substrate. This finding suggests that HEp-2 cells represent a more sensitive substrate than rat liver for the detection of ANA in JDM. Three patients were positive for ACA; two of these presented vascular complications, thus suggesting a possible relationship between ACA and vascular involvement in JDM.