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Baillieres Clin Gastroenterol. 1995 Dec;9(4):723-44.

Autoantibodies.

Abstract

The number of autoantibodies associated with chronic liver disease continues to burgeon and characterization of these immunoreactivities will undoubtedly enhance understanding of the autoantigens that are targeted by cytodestructive immunocytes. Assays for the majority of these immunoserological species are not generally available and in most instances, assessments are restricted to individual laboratories with vested interests in characterizing a particular species. For clinical diagnosis and management of autoimmune liver disease, assays for ANA, SMA, anti-LKM1 and AMA are essential. This conventional armamentarium, however, must be upgraded on a regular basis to ensure availability and application of the most useful assays. Unfortunately, there are no formal mechanisms for improving the diagnostic resources and standardizing testing strategies. An important first step must be taken by the basic laboratories that advocate individual assay systems. These facilities must share methodologies and exchange serum samples so that the most clinically pertinent and cost-effective immunoserological batteries can be defined and promulgated. Industry can then respond to need and facilitate the commercialization of assays for general use. Currently, the assays that warrant dissemination are those that detect antibodies to the E2 subunits of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and antibodies to asialoglycoprotein receptor. Both assays have high diagnostic specificity and each reflects reactivity to an important target autoantigen of probable pathogenic importance. Each autoantibody species can supplant conventional assays such as those for AMA and ANA and they each may impart useful clinical information. In the case of antibodies to the E2 subunits, titres may reflect histological progression of PBC. In the case of anti-ASGPR, disappearance of the autoantibodies in patients with autoimmune hepatitis may secure a confident treatment end-point. Great progress has been made in defining the immunoserological manifestations of chronic liver disease but little has been done to distribute the resources.

PMID:
8903802
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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