Improved accuracy in DFS pattern interpretation using a novel HEp-2 ELITE system

Maria Infantino, O. Shovman, B. Gilburd, M. Manfredi, V. Grossi, Maurizio Benucci, A. Damiani, D. Chimenti, K. Malyavantham, Y. Shoenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction/objectives: Accurate interpretation of DFS70 (dense fine speckled 70) and mixed antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) patterns can be challenging using conventional HEp-2 immunofluorescence (IIF) method. We evaluated a novel HEp-2 IIF substrate (HEp-2 ELITE/DFS70-KO) composed of a mixture of engineered HEp-2 devoid of the DFS70 autoantigen and conventional HEp-2 cells. The study assessed the utility of the new substrate in ANA screening and its advantages. Method: One thousand and five consecutive routine samples sent for ANA screening were tested on both standard HEp-2 and the HEp-2 ELITE DFS70 KO substrates (ImmuGlo ANA HEp-2 and HEp-2 ELITE/DFS70-KO, Trinity Biotech, Buffalo, NY). Anti-DFS70 antibody specificity was additionally determined by immunoblot (IB). Clinical and serological data were included in the analysis of the overall impact of the novel HEp-2 substrate on DFS pattern interpretation. Results: Of the 22 cases suspected as positive for DFS pattern alone or in combination with homogeneous or speckled patterns on conventional HEp-2 cells, 17 were interpreted with a higher accuracy using the new HEp-2 ELITE method as positive for DFS70 (monospecific DFS70 (10), mixed DFS70 (7)), speckled (3), and DFS (2) patterns. Conclusions: The new substrate was not only useful in deciphering unclear mixed ANA patterns but also highly sensitive in detecting DFS70 pattern in comparison to the DFS70 positivity obtained using IB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1293-1299
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2019


  • Anti-DFS70
  • Antinuclear antibodies
  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoimmune disease
  • HEp2-cells


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