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Sack, Ulrich; Conrad, Karsten; Csernok, Elena; Frank, Ingrid; Hiepe, Falk; Krieger, Thorsten; Kromminga, Arno; Landenberg, Philipp von; Messer, Gerald; Witte, Torsten; Mierau, Rudolf (2012): Autoantikörpernachweis mittels indirekter Immunfluoreszenz an HEp-2-Zellen. In: Laboratoriumsmedizin - Journal of Laboratory Medicine, Vol. 36, Nr. 3: S. 135-141


Systemic autoimmune diseases are characterized by the presence of antinuclear autoantibodies (ANAs). Diluted patient sera are typically used to screen for the presence of ANAs by immunofluorescence microscopy with fixed HEp-2 cells. Despite high quality test kits, reports of different laboratories frequently present controversial results. This study presents a recommendation for a unified processing and interpretation of HEp-2 based screening for autoantibodies. We provide suggestions for selection of high quality test kits, optimized processing, and diagnostic procedures. For good laboratory practice, in addition to a relevant clinical diagnosis and an experienced laboratory specialist, the following procedure is highly recommended: initial HEp-2 based screening by indirect immunofluorescence, starting with a 1:80 serum dilution and evaluation in a bright fluorescence microscope, pathological values from a titer of 1:160, internal quality checks, and unified interpretation. We aim to improve diagnostics and care for patients with autoimmune diseases as a central focus of the European Autoimmunity Standardization Initiative (EASI).