Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy (AAG) is a disorder that causes autonomic failure and is associated with alpha3-ganglionic acetylcholine-receptor (gnACHR) antibodies. Assays that detect antibodies to whole gnACHR or subunits are available. We compared in-house subunit-specific immunoassays using bacterially-expressed alpha3 and beta4 subunits against an immunomodulation assay to detect antibodies in patients with AAG or control groups in a novel 2-step clinical-characteristic unblinding protocol. Only 1/8 patients with seropositive-AAG had subunit-specific antibodies, with sensitivity, specificity, false-negative and positive rates of 12.5, 85.2, 78.6 and 13.4% respectively. Subunit-specific antibody-derived false-positive results can lead to misdiagnosis, as autonomic failure is not specific to AAG.
Keywords: Autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy; Live-cell immunomodulation; Subunit-specific antibodies; alpha3; gnACHR.
Crown Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.