Autoantibodies in rheumatic diseases

Last updated: June 19, 2023

Summarytoggle arrow icon

Antibody diagnostics play a vital role in the differential diagnosis of rheumatic diseases. Many of these autoantibodies can be differentiated into antibodies against nuclear antigens (ANAs) and antibodies against cytoplasmic antigens (ANCAs). Although both of these antibodies are detectable in numerous autoimmune diseases, elevated ANAs are typical for connective tissue diseases and elevated ANCAs for vasculitis. Diagnosis of individual conditions can be further supported by detecting disease-specific ANAs or ANCAs, such as anti-dsDNA in systemic lupus erythematosus or c-ANCA in granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

Antinuclear antibodies (ANAs)toggle arrow icon

Overview of ANAs
Connective tissue diseases

Antigen-specific ANAs

Other autoantibodies

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)

Sjögren syndrome

Polymyositis and dermatomyositis

  • RF

Mixed connective tissue disease

  • Anti-U1-RNP
  • RF


Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs)toggle arrow icon

Referencestoggle arrow icon

  1. Wallace DJ. Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Adults. In: Post TW, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate. Last updated: November 23, 2015. Accessed: March 30, 2017.
  2. Baer AN. Diagnosis and Classification of Sjögren's Syndrome. In: Post TW, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate. Last updated: March 15, 2016. Accessed: April 9, 2017.
  3. Ying C-M, Yao D-T, Ding H-H, Yang C-D. Infective Endocarditis with Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody: Report of 13 Cases and Literature Review. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9 (2): p.e89777.doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089777 . | Open in Read by QxMD

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