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Antinuclear antibodies and their detection methods in diagnosis of connective tissue diseases: a journey revisited

Yashwant Kumar1*, Alka Bhatia2 and Ranjana Walker Minz3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Grecian Superspeciality, Heart, Cancer and Multispeciality Hospital, Sector 69, Mohali, India

2 Department of Experimental Medicine and Biotechnology, Post Graduate Institute of Medial Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

3 Department of Immunopathology, Post Graduate Institute of Medial Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

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Diagnostic Pathology 2009, 4:1  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-4-1

Published: 2 January 2009


It has been more than 50 years since antinuclear antibodies were first discovered and found to be associated with connective tissue diseases. Since then different methods have been described and used for their detection or confirmation. For many decades immunofluorescent antinuclear antibody test has been the "gold standard" in the diagnosis of these disorders. However to increase the sensitivity and specificity of antinuclear antibody detection further approaches were explored. Today a battery of newer techniques are available some of which are now considered better and are competing with the older methods. This article provides an overview on advancement in antinuclear antibody detection methods, their future prospects, advantages, disadvantages and guidelines for use of these tests.