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Pitfalls of antinuclear antibody detection in systemic lupus erythematosus: the positive experience of a national multicentre study
  1. Francesca Pregnolato1,
  2. Maria Orietta Borghi1,2,
  3. Pier Luigi Meroni1
  4. Forum Interdisciplinare per la Ricerca sulle Malattie Autoimmuni (FIRMA) Study Group
    1. 1Immunorheumatology Research Laboratory, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan, Italy
    2. 2Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
    1. Correspondence to Professor Pier Luigi Meroni, Immunorheumatology Research Laboratory, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan 20095, Italy; pierluigi.meroni{at}

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    The recent paper by Pisetsky et al,1 which already elicited some debate,2 3 reported data on the use of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) detection in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the real life and raised concerns on the usefulness of the assays because of the significant percentage of samples tested negative for ANA in spite of the use of well-validated assays and the inclusion of patients with an established diagnosis. This finding may have negative implications both for the correct classification and the inclusion in clinical trials.

    We report here a multicentre study carried out by an Italian interdisciplinary group (Forum Interdisciplinare per la Ricerca sulle Malattie Autoimmuni) for the …

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