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What are Autoantibodies?

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Overview of Antibody Testing
ESR: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
Antibodies in Systemic Scleroderma
Antibodies in Localized Scleroderma
Lupus and Antibodies
Sjogren's Syndrome and Antibodies
Thyroid Diseases and Antibodies


Photo of butterfly needleSpecialized blood tests such as antinuclear antibody (ANA) tests are sometimes useful in the diagnosis or categorization of both localized and systemic scleroderma, as well as overlapping or other autoimmune diseases. (Also see:What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma and Systemic Symptoms)
Autoantibodies and SLE-the threshold for disease. The current findings are summarized regarding the presence of SLE-associated antibodies in apparently healthy individuals, and provide opinions on what such discoveries might tell us about the roles of autoantibodies in the development of disease. PubMed, Nat Rev Rheumatol, 2013 Dec 3. (Also see: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Antibodies)
New Autoantibodies in early Rheumatoid Arthritis. These autoantibodies could be used as diagnosis markers in RA patients. PubMed, Arthritis Res Ther, 2013 Jul 25;15(4):R78. (Also see: Rheumatoid Arthritis)
Autoantibody profile and clinical correlation in a group of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) in southern Brazil. This study emphasizes and confirms the important role of autoantibodies in assessing patients with SSc, allowing the correlation between the autoimmune profile of patients with SSc and specific manifestations of the disease. Müller CD. Rev Bras Reumatol, 2011 Aug;51(4):319-324.

ESR: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate

ESR: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate. There are different methods of obtaining the SED rate--such as Westergren, Cutler, Wintrobe, and Smith--and what is considered normal will depend on the method used. This test can be used to monitor inflammatory or cancerous diseases. It is a screening test, which means it cannot be used to diagnose a specific disorder. Medline Plus.

Antibodies in Systemic Scleroderma

DNA, Topoisomerase I
ANCA and Anti-PR3
ESR (Sed Rate)
PmScl and dsDNA
TNF and IL-13

Antibodies in Localized Scleroderma (Linear and Morphea)

Antinuclear Antibodies

IgG or IgM anti-Cu/Zn SOD antibody was detected in the serum of 89% of localized scleroderma patients, especially 100% of patients with generalized morphea, the severest form of localized scleroderma, but was positive only in the serum of less than 15% of patients with other autoimmune disorders, including systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, and autoimmune bullous disorders. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. (Also see: Generalized Morphea)


Antinucleosome antibody is a major autoantibody in localized scleroderma. Although antinucleosome antibody was not specific to localized scleroderma, its high prevalence in localized scleroderma indicates that antinucleosome antibody is a major autoantibody in this disease. PubMed, Br J Dermatol. (Also see: Localized Scleroderma)

Lupus and Antibodies

Antibodies in Lupus. There are over 100 antibodies associated with lupus. ISN.
Anti-NKG2A autoantibodies in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). NKG2A autoantibodies are rare, but when they occur they may contribute to the pathogenesis by increasing the killing of cells and the release of autoantigens. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 2013 Jul 3.

Sjogren's Syndrome and Antibodies

Sjogren's Syndrome Diagnosis. ISN.

Thyroid Disease and Antibodies

Thyroid Disease and Antibodies. ISN.
Go to Antibodies in Systemic Scleroderma

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