Incidence, target antigens, and clinical implications of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies in rheumatoid arthritis

Matthias Gerd Braun*, Elena Csernok, Wilhelm Halvor Schmitt, Wolfgang Ludwig Gross

*Corresponding author for this work
47 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To determine the incidence of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) in rheumatold arthritis (RA), to detect the target antigens of ANCA, and to compare clinical and laboratory data of ANCA+ with ANCA- patients with RA. Methods. 385 sera of patients with RA were screened for ANCA by indirect immunofluorescence. ANCA+ sera were further analyzed for target antigens by ELISA. The ANCA+ patients were compared to randomly selected ANCA- patients with RA with respect to serological and radiological variables and extraarticular involvement. Results. ANCA were found in 16% of patients with RA (61/385 sera). All sera showed a perinuclear (pANCA) pattern. Antibodies directed against 5 different target antigens were found in 18/61 pANCA+ sera, antibodies directed against proteinase 3 were not observed. The analysis of ANCA+ and ANCA- patients revealed that the pANCA+ group exhibited significantly higher serological markers of inflammation (p < 0.005) and a higher incidence of rheumatoid factor (p < 0.005). Furthermore, vasculitic involvement was found at a higher frequency (p < 0.05) in the pANCA+ group. Five patients in the pANCA+ group had pulmonary involvement, but none in the pANCA-group. Conclusion. pANCA in RA may be a marker for a more aggressive course of disease in respect to serological variables and extraarticular manifestations including rheumatoid vasculitis and lung involvement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)826-830
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 05.1996

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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