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Journal of Laboratory Medicine

Official Journal of the German Society of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Schuff-Werner, Peter

Ed. by Ahmad-Nejad, Parviz / Bidlingmaier, Martin / Bietenbeck, Andreas / Conrad, Karsten / Findeisen, Peter / Fraunberger, Peter / Ghebremedhin, Beniam / Holdenrieder, Stefan / Kiehntopf, Michael / Klein, Hanns-Georg / Kohse, Klaus P. / Kratzsch, Jürgen / Luppa, Peter B. / Meyer, Alexander von / Nebe, Carl Thomas / Orth, Matthias / Röhrig-Herzog, Gabriele / Sack, Ulrich / Steimer, Werner / Weber, Thomas / Wieland, Eberhard / Winter, Christof / Zettl, Uwe K.

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.389

CiteScore 2018: 0.22

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.156
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Volume 43, Issue 3


Clinical significance of anti-DFS70 antibody in antinuclear antibody-positive samples with a dense fine speckled pattern

Sun Hoe Koo
  • Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, South Korea
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/ Jimyung Kim
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, South Korea
  • Email
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/ Seon Young Kim
  • Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, South Korea
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/ Gye Cheol Kwon
  • Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, South Korea
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Published Online: 2019-05-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/labmed-2019-0036



When the dense fine speckled (DFS) pattern-antinuclear antibodies (ANA) are detected in the indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) assay, the presence of anti-dense fine speckles 70 (DFS70) antibodies has been suggested to facilitate the exclusion of ANA-associated rheumatic diseases (AARD). We evaluated the potential use of anti-DFS70 antibodies for verifying AARD in patients with a positive ANA result of the DFS pattern.


A total of 5509 patients who were requested ANA testing were included. The DFS pattern was confirmed using two IIF assays. Semiquantitative DFS70 ELISA (Euroimmun, Germany) was examined in samples with the DFS pattern.


Among 639 ANA-positive patients, 19.6% displayed the DFS pattern. And 17.6% of patients with the DFS pattern were diagnosed with AARD. The low titer of 1:80 was more prevalent in the non-AARD group than in the AARD group (64.1% vs. 4.5%, p < 0.0001). Anti-DFS70 antibodies were positive in 60.0% of patients with the DFS pattern. The frequency of anti-DFS70 positivity was higher in the non-rheumatic disease (NRD) group (74.2%) than in the other rheumatic disease group (43.2%, p = 0.003) and the AARD group (45.5%, p = 0.019).


The DFS pattern is present in both AARD and non-AARD cases. In the DFS pattern, a low titer of 1:80 and isolated anti-DFS70 antibodies without AARD-associated antibodies represent a low likelihood of AARD. The presence of anti-DFS70 antibodies cannot exclude AARD and should be analyzed in combination with AARD-associated antibodies in the diagnostic algorithm.

Reviewed publication

SackU. ConradK.Edited by:

Keywords: ANA-associated rheumatic diseases; antinuclear antibody; DFS70; indirect immunofluorescence


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About the article

Correspondence: Jimyung Kim, MD, Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, 282 Moonhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon 35015South Korea, Phone: +82-42-280-7998, Fax: +82-42-257-5365

Received: 2019-03-05

Accepted: 2019-05-04

Published Online: 2019-05-22

Published in Print: 2019-06-26

Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

Citation Information: Journal of Laboratory Medicine, Volume 43, Issue 3, Pages 149–155, ISSN (Online) 2567-9449, ISSN (Print) 2567-9430, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/labmed-2019-0036.

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