Clinical comparison of cultured human epithelial cells and rat liver as substrates for the fluorescent antinuclear antibody test

J Rheumatol. 1985 Apr;12(2):265-9.


Fluorescent antinuclear antibody (ANA) testing was performed on 141 sera from 114 patients with well defined rheumatic diseases including fibrositis syndrome and 24 sera from 24 healthy subjects using HEp-2 cells and rat liver as substrates. ANA titers were almost always higher on HEp-2, in most cases by 1:5 dilutions. ANA positivity or negativity was usually substrate independent, but there were exceptions. Two patients with SLE were ANA positive on HEp-2 only and rat liver only, respectively; patterns were homogeneous. Thirteen of 15 CREST patients had anticentromere antibodies, detected on HEp-2 only. "False-positive" ANA were invariably low titer, speckled and confined to one substrate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique*
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Rats
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / immunology*
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear