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The concordance of serial ANA tests in an Australian tertiary hospital pathology laboratory


Lee, AYS and Hudspeth, AR and Adelstein, S, The concordance of serial ANA tests in an Australian tertiary hospital pathology laboratory, Pathology, 48, (6) pp. 597-601. ISSN 0031-3025 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2016 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.pathol.2016.06.003


© 2016 Royal College of Pathologists of AustralasiaThe antinuclear antibody (ANA) tests are some of the more frequently requested tests for the diagnosis of autoimmunity. Although they are used primarily as diagnostic blood tests, multiple requests on the same patient continue to be encountered in the laboratory. This retrospective analysis of serial ANA testing at one pathology laboratory in Australia is the first study that examines the statistical concordance and possible implications of this on clinical practice. High-titred ANA have quite good repeatability for titre and pattern, and low-titred ANA, which can be non-specific, have poor repeatability. Staining patterns are, in general, almost random in nature on serial tests when compared to the first-obtained ANA pattern for each patient. This study confirms that there is little benefit in serial ANA testing, and only if there is a clear change in the patient's clinical picture would repeat of an initial low-titred ANA be useful. The findings reinforce the need for pathology stewardship to minimise costs, wasted resources and unnecessary referrals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antinuclear antibodies; autoantibodies; connective tissue diseases
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Pathology (excl. oral pathology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Lee, AYS (Dr Adrian Lee)
ID Code:117053
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2017-05-30
Last Modified:2022-08-25

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