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Pitfalls of formalin fixation for determination of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Zahed Chowdhury, Dr Gavin Spickett, Professor Robert Wilkinson


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Sera can produce nuclear or perinuclear immunofluorescence staining in neutrophils which may be caused by antibodies with differing antigenic specificities. These include perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (P-ANCA), granulocyte specific antinuclear antibody (GS-ANA), and antinuclear antibody (ANA). There is controversy over the value of formalin fixation of neutrophils in differentiating antibodies giving selective or preferential reaction with the nuclear or perinuclear area of neutrophils. In a comparative study of 77 sera, formalin fixation caused inconsistency, nonspecific effects, and false positivity owing to enhanced fluorescence, If formalin fixed neutrophils are used in the routine diagnostic laboratory, this will add confusion to the interpretation of the ANCA assay.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chowdhury SMZ, Broomhead V, Spickett GP, Wilkinson R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Pathology

Year: 1999

Volume: 52

Issue: 6

Pages: 475-477

Print publication date: 01/06/1999

ISSN (print): 0021-9746

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: B M J Group


DOI: 10.1136/jcp.52.6.475


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