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Hepatogastroenterology. 1998 Nov-Dec;45(24):2132-7.

Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies in Estonian patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Prevalence and diagnostic role.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tartu, Estonia.



In Estonia, the incidence of ulcerative colitis and especially Crohn's disease appears to be rare. Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) are frequently found in ulcerative colitis but less frequently in Crohn's disease, their pathophysiological significance is still unclear.


Fifty-nine serum samples from patients with ulcerative colitis, 17 with Crohn's disease, 25 with irritable bowel syndrome, and 86 healthy persons were studied. Sera were analyzed for the presence of ANCA by indirect immunofluorescence, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for specific ANCA using different antigens was performed.


ANCA were detected in 29 of 59 (49%) patients with ulcerative colitis, 4 of 17 (24%) patients with Crohn's disease, and in 4 of 111 (4%) controls. The immunofluorescence staining was mostly perinuclear (pANCA). There was no correlation between ANCA and the duration or extent of the inflammatory bowel disease. In specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, only 14 sera elicited binding above the normal range.


Although the prevalence of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease in Estonia is much lower than in European countries, there seem to be no differences in the presence of ANCA.

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