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BACKGROUND: Serum antinuclear antibodies giving the 'multiple nuclear dots' or the 'rim-like/membranous' patterns are frequently detected by indirect immunofluorescence on HEp-2 cells in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. AIM: To assess the accuracy of multiple nuclear dot and rim-like/membranous antinuclear antibodies for the diagnosis of primary biliary cirrhosis. METHODS: Sera from 4371 consecutive patients referred to our laboratory were analysed under code for antinuclear antibodies testing by indirect immunofluorescence on HEp-2 cells. RESULTS: Review of the clinical records of the 4371 patients allowed identification of 101 patients with antimitochondrial antibody-positive primary biliary cirrhosis and 22 with antimitochondrial antibody-negative variant. Multiple nuclear dot and/or rim-like/membranous patterns were found in 59 (1.3%) of the 4371 patients: 31 antimitochondrial antibody-positive primary biliary cirrhosis, 17 antimitochondrial antibody-negative primary biliary cirrhosis and 11 non-primary biliary cirrhosis. The specificity for primary biliary cirrhosis of both the antinuclear antibodies pattern was 99%. Positive predictive value and likelihood ratio for a positive test were 86% (95% CI: 72.7-94) and 221 (95% CI: 91.7-544) for multiple nuclear dot, 79% (95% CI: 62.2-90.1) and 132 (95% CI: 56.8-312.7) for rim-like/membranous, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple nuclear dot and rim-like/membranous antinuclear antibodies are rare findings. Their positivity strongly suggests the diagnosis of primary biliary cirrhosis, irrespective of antimitochondrial antibody status. The high specificity for primary biliary cirrhosis makes them a useful diagnostic tool especially in antimitochondrial antibody-negative patients.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/j.1365-2036.2006.03172.x

Type

Journal article

Journal

Aliment Pharmacol Ther

Publication Date

12/2006

Volume

24

Pages

1575 - 1583

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Autoantibodies, Female, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect, Humans, Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary, Male, Middle Aged, Sensitivity and Specificity