LE Cell Test and Antinuclear Antibodies

Edmund L. Dubois, MD
JAMA. 1967;200(12):1053-1054. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120250087017.
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Since Hargraves' description of the LE cell in 1948, our understanding of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has made rapid strides.1 Extensive investigations into the immunological and clinical implications of this finding have greatly changed our concept of the disease and have shown that it is a relatively common disorder.2

It is currently believed that LE cell formation is due to an antibody to nucleoprotein.3 Patients with SLE also have many other antibodies, most important and specific of which may be the one against deoxyribonucleic acid.4

Serologic Tests for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus  Antinuclear antibody tests have been extensively studied during the past 12 years. They are useful for the diagnosis of SLE and other autoimmune disorders but their sensitivity and specificity cannot be correlated between laboratories since there are no standard reagents or test sera. Consequently, each laboratory must have its own control studies of the incidence


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