The study was carried out on sera of 130 consecutive patients who sought medical advice during a prophylactic action (65 females and 65 males, aged 9 - 82 years). None of the patients was suspected of having autoimmune disease. The serum samples were tested using EIA (Varelisa ReCombi ANA, Pharmacia&Upjohn) for the presence of autoantibodies specific to the following antigens: dsDNA, RNP, and Sm. Presence of these antibodies is considered typical for SLE.
One or more antinuclear autoantibodies were detected in 18 of all 130 patients; 13 of 65 females were ANA-positive (13/65F, 20.0%) in comparison to 5 of 65 males (5/65M, 7.7%). The dsDNA-specific autoantibodies were found in 8/65F and 4/65M (total 12/130), RNP - in 4/65F and 2/65M (total 6/130), Sm - in 2/65F and 0/65M (total 2/130). In general, ANAs were more frequently detected in females (p = 0.05), however, differences for each particular antibody did not prove statistically significant.
Altogether, antinuclear autoantibodies were found in 13.8% of subjects with no symptoms of autoimmune disease (confidence interval at p = 0.05: 7.9 - 19.8%). These figures should be kept in mind when interpreting results of tests for ANAs. To our knowledge, this is the first serological survey on antinuclear autoantibodies among Poles free from autoimmune disease.
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