MVZ Laboratory Medicine Koblenz-Mittelrhein
Antinuclear antibodies (IIFA)
Since decades, anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) are determined by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IIFA) which are commonly used for the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. Debates regarding different tools for ANA testing have resulted in a position statement of the American College of Rheumatolgy (2015) claiming that IIFA using HEp-2 cells is still the “gold” standard for ANA detection. Because of the high relevance of ANA testing by immunofluorescence, international groups of experts have developed in the last years major recommendations for the interpretation of ANA and associated antibodies. Especially, the importance of defining nuclear and cytoplasmic staining and the need for harmonization of autoantibody nomenclature and interpretation were emphasized. The recent recommendations are parts of a standard operation procedure for ANA detection by use of HEp-2-cells and the indirect immunofluorescence.