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EUROPEAN CONSENSUS FINDING STUDY GROUP ON LABORATORY INVESTIGATION IN RHEUMATOLOGY
The 10 serum samples that were distributed this year were selected from 22 candidate sera, which were first analysed in great detail by the laboratories in London, Karlsruhe, and Copenhagen. This included radioimmunoprecipitation using [35S]methionine labelled (recombinant) autoantigens. The selected sera (1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11,12, 13, and 17) were sent to Karlsruhe, where they were aliquoted and then forwarded to the participating laboratories. CD-ROMs containing a number of ANA patterns were prepared by Peter Charles and Allan Wiik and also dispatched to the participating laboratories. The data received in London were analysed by Peter Charles and coworkers and were discussed at a meeting in Noorwijkerhout. The results of the consensus round 2001–2, overall, were quite satisfactory. The tendency over the years for better consensus in the field of autoantibody measurement in rheumatology was confirmed. There is general agreement amongst the participating laboratories that these consensus rounds should be continued, including the ANA pattern recognition CD. Most of these laboratories are reference laboratories in their respective countries and these annual efforts keep us all focused.
The organising committee has applied to EULAR for financial support which, in the meantime, has been granted by the Executive Committee of EULAR. Meanwhile, we gratefully acknowledge the support in the distribution of the sera and the extensive pretesting by Lab Seelig. Participants are now asked to donate sera for next year’s round. It has been agreed that ANA results next year will be reported under two headings: nuclear staining and cytoplasmic staining.