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Letter to the editor
Evaluation of antinuclear antibody (ANA) in ANA-associated connective tissue diseases
  1. Adrian Y S Lee1,2,3,
  2. Andrew R Hudspeth1,
  3. Udayan Ray1,2
  1. 1Royal Hobart Hospital, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  2. 2School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  3. 3Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adrian Y S Lee, Royal Hobart Hospital, RMO Quarters—Level 5H, G.P.O. Box 1061, Hobart, TAS 7000, Australia; Adrian.Lee{at}

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Dear Editor,

The antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is one of the most common autoimmunity blood tests, which plays a major role in the diagnosis of several connective tissue diseases (CTDs), including scleroderma/systemic sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).1 We performed a brief investigation to examine the performance of ANA in ANA-associated CTDs (ANA-CTD) at one Australian teaching tertiary hospital. All ANAs ordered at the Royal Hobart Hospital pathology laboratory in a 6.5-year period from July 2008 to December 2014 were identified. July 2008 was the first point in which ANA tests were performed onsite using human epithelial cells (HEp-2) substrates and was therefore used as the starting point. Only the first episode for each patient was identified to avoid duplicates in entries.

There were a total of 4500 valid ANA cases during this timeframe, with …

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  • Contributors AYSL designed the study, analysed data and drafted the manuscript. ARH extracted data and contributed to the manuscript. UR assisted with data extraction, supervised the study and contributed to the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Tasmanian Health and Medical Human Research Ethics Committee (H0014041).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.