Detection of antinuclear antibodies by use of an enzyme immunoassay with nuclear HEp-2 cell extract and recombinant antigens: comparison with immunofluorescence assay in 307 patients

Hayashi, N.; Kawamoto, T.; Mukai, M.; Morinobu, A.; Koshiba, M.; Kondo, S.; Maekawa, S.; Kumagai, S.

Clinical Chemistry 47(9): 1649-1659

2001


ISSN/ISBN: 0009-9147
PMID: 11514399
DOI: 10.1093/clinchem/47.9.1649
Accession: 010435053

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Abstract
A new enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for automated detection of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) uses a mixture of HEp-2 cell extracts and multiple recombinant nuclear antigens immobilized on beads. We compared this EIA and an immunofluorescence (IF) assay in a large group of patients and controls. We studied 492 healthy individuals and 307 patients with connective tissue diseases (CTDs). Sera were tested by an automated EIA (COBAS Core HEp2 ANA EIA; Roche Diagnostics) and IF. Samples were also tested for eight disease-specific antibodies, including antibodies against U1RNP, Sm, SSA/Ro, SSB/La, Scl-70, Jo-1, dsDNA, and centromere. Areas under ROC curves for the EIA were greater than (P = 0.008-0.012) or numerically identical to areas for the IF method for each of six CTDs studied. ROC areas for EIA were 0.98 (95% confidence interval, 0.95-0.99), 0.99 (0.96-1.00), and 0.99 (0.98-1.00) in systemic lupus erythematosus (n = 111), systemic sclerosis (n = 39), and mixed connective tissue disease (n = 33), respectively. For all 258 CTD patients with conditions other than rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the sensitivity and specificity of the IF method at a cutoff dilution of 1:40 were 92% and 65%, respectively, vs 93% and 79% for the EIA at a cutoff of 0.6. For the IF method at a cutoff dilution of 1:160, sensitivity and specificity were 81% and 87%, respectively, vs 84% and 94%, respectively, for the EIA at a cutoff of 0.9. For 207 sera containing at least one of eight disease-specific ANAs, positivities for the EIA and the IF method were 97.1% and 97.6%, respectively, at cutoffs of 0.6 and 1:40 (P = 0.76). An EIA that can be performed by a fully automated instrument distinguishes CTDs (except RA) from healthy individuals with both higher sensitivity and specificity than the IF method when the cutoff index was set at 0.9. Moreover, it can be used to exclude the presence of disease-specific ANAs by setting the cutoff index at 0.6 with almost the same efficacy as the IF method.