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Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2002 May;2(3):226-32.

Immunofluorescence versus ELISA for the detection of antinuclear antigens.

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Isala Klinieken, Location Sophia Department of Clinical Chemistry, P.O. Box 10400, 8000 GK Zwolle, The Netherlands.


Determining the presence and specificity of antinuclear antigens (ANA) is a challenge to a laboratory involved in the diagnosis of connective tissue disease (CTD). The immunofluorescent technique (IF), once considered the gold standard, is more and more displaced by ELISA. ELISA can be fully automated and the interpretation does not require the extensive experience needed in IF. However, literature in which both techniques are compared does not give unequivocal conclusions that ELISA indeed performs better. The clue as to which technique is best in the cascade testing of ANA, is given by its clinical value, not only by its technical and logistic performance. Selective test ordering is strongly recommended to increase the predictive value of these tests. The pros and cons of both techniques are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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