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The recent article by Pisetsky et al 1 showing data derived from a comparison of different antinuclear antibody (ANA) assays in a cohort of patients with established systemic lupus erythematosus highlighted the critical issue of ANA detection. With great interest, we read the correspondence by van Hoovels et al 2 describing variation in ANA detection by automated indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) analysis and the following letter from Mahler and Auza on the strong need for ANA testing standardisation.3 Nowadays, the IIF on human epithelial cells (HEp-2) is considered the gold standard for ANA testing, but biological and non-biological issues limiting the IIF test are not currently adequately clarified in study literature.4 5 In fact, despite the fact that the IIF method on HEp-2 cells has existed for about 40 years, there are little data on this topic, and studies are mainly focused on selected patient groups, rather than samples from ‘real …
Handling editor Josef S Smolen
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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