Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was differentiated from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) by direct immunofluorescent techniques on skin specimens, using monospecific antisera for IgG, IgM, C3, C1q, properdin, and fibrin. Of 30 patients with RA studied, 20 had dermal vessel deposits of immunoglobulins and complement components in unaffected skin without the characteristic dermal-epidermal junctional fluorescence of SLE. Of 24 SLE patients studied, 24 had granular deposits of immunoglobulins and complement components in unaffected skin at the dermal-epidermal junction.
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