Diagnostic Value of Distinguishing and Reporting Different Perinuclear ANCA (P-ANCA) Immunofluorescence Patterns: A Prospective Study

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Abstract

Objectives:

To investigate whether discriminating the classic perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (P-ANCA) pattern from atypical P-ANCA and uninterpretable patterns improves the diagnostic utility of ANCA testing.

Methods:

All ANCA requests (n = 3,544) referred to Pathology Queensland were analyzed prospectively over 4 months for P-ANCA pattern subtypes and myeloperoxidase (MPO)-ANCA/PR3-ANCA results and correlated with clinical, laboratory, and radiologic evidence of necrotizing small vessel vasculitis.

Results:

Of the 436 perinuclear immunofluorescence-positive samples, 45 were classic P-ANCA, 163 were atypical P-ANCA, and 228 were antinuclear antibodies/uninterpretable. The classic P-ANCA pattern had a significantly stronger association with vasculitis (30/45) than atypical P-ANCA (2/163) (P <.0001) or ANA/uninterpretable patterns (8/228) (P <.0001). The combination of a classic P-ANCA pattern and positive MPO-ANCA/PR3-ANCA result was also more strongly associated with vasculitis than a positive MPO-ANCA/PR3-ANCA result in isolation (P = .003).

Conclusions:

This study demonstrates that reporting different P-ANCA patterns (including ANA/uninterpretable patterns) provides additional diagnostic information to MPO-ANCA/PR3-ANCA results.

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