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Guidelines for the Laboratory Use of Autoantibody Tests in the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases

Renato Tozzoli MD, Nicola Bizzaro MD, Elio Tonutti MD, Danilo Villalta MD, Danila Bassetti MD, Fabio Manoni MD, Anna Piazza MD, Marco Pradella MD, Paolo Rizzotti MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/Y5VF-C3DM-L8XV-U053 316-324 First published online: 1 February 2002


The Italian Society of Laboratory Medicine Study Group on the Diagnosis of Autoimmune Diseases has generated a series of guidelines for the laboratory diagnosis and monitoring of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases intended for the use of clinical pathologists and laboratory physicians. These guidelines are based on a systematic review of published works and expert panel discussion and consist of 13 recommendations for antinuclear antibodies, anti–double-stranded native DNA, and antinuclear specific antibodies. To improve analytic performances and help select the most appropriate test for specific autoantibodies, as well as provide education and guidance in the use of these tests, special emphasis is placed on laboratory methods.

Key Words:
  • Antinuclear antibodies
  • Autoimmune rheumatic disease
  • Guidelines
  • Dermatopolymyositis
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Sjögren syndrome