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Correspondence response
Response to: ‘Are autoantibodies to RNA-polymerase III to be incorporated in routine diagnostic laboratory algorithms for systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases?’ by Jan Damoiseaux
  1. J Fransen1,
  2. J Pope2,
  3. M Baron3,
  4. S Johnson4,
  5. D Khanna5,
  6. M Matucci-Cerinic6,
  7. A Tyndall7,
  8. F van den Hoogen1,8
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Department of Rheumatology, Jewish General Hospital and McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  4. 4Department of Medicine, Toronto Scleroderma Research Program, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  5. 5Department of Rheumatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  6. 6Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
  7. 7Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  8. 8Department of Rheumatology, Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr F van den Hoogen, Department of Rheumatology, Sint Maartenskliniek, PO Box 9011, Nijmegen 6500 GM, The Netherlands; f.vandenhoogen{at}

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In his letter, Jan Damoiseaux advocates testing of anti-RNA polymerase III antibodies (ARA), and also other (novel) systemic sclerosis (SSc)-associated antibodies, only for those patients who are really suspected for SSc.1 Damoiseaux argues that there is a necessity to provide clinical information together with the request for testing for rheumatic systemic autoimmune diseases.

We very much agree that testing for SSc-associated antibodies should only be requested for those people who really are suspected to have SSc. We feel that a correct request of testing for these autoantibodies is, first and foremost, a responsibility of the requestor, that is, the rheumatologist. However, immunologists and rheumatologists almost certainly can learn from each other in optimising requests for antibody …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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