The performance of the antinuclear antibody test in a Malaysian setting

Shamala Rajalingam, Sakthiswary Rajalingham, Heselynn Hussein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance and clinical utility of the antinuclear antibody (ANA) test in a Malaysian hospital setting. Design: This is a 12-year retrospective, monocentric study involving patients who were tested for ANA. Methods: The patients were divided into 2 groups based on the principal diagnosis; autoimmune rheumatic disease (ARD) and non autoimmune rheumatic disease (non ARD). The prevalence, pattern and titre of the ANA in the two groups were compared and analysed. Results: Out of the 3163 patients who were tested for ANA, 18.4% (582 patients) tested ANA positive. The prevalence of ANA positivity among the ARDs and non ARDs were 28.5% and 12.2 % respectively. For the ARDs, the sensitivity of the ANA test was 28.54% whereas the specificity was 87.75%. The positive predictive value and the negative predictive value were 58.6% and 66.9% respectively. The proportion of subjects with high titres of ANA of ≥ 1:640 was significantly higher in the ARD group (p = 0.006). Conclusions: A high proportion of Malaysian patients have positive ANA without an underlying ARD. Medical conditions with abnormal ANA expression were multisystemic and very diverse. The poor sensitivity of the ANA test raises doubts on its performance as a screening test for ARDs in our local setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-664
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Medical Journal
Volume20
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Antinuclear Antibodies
Rheumatic Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Retrospective Studies

Keywords

  • ANA titre
  • Antinuclear antibodies (ANA)
  • Autoimmune rheumatic diseases
  • Immunofluorescent pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

The performance of the antinuclear antibody test in a Malaysian setting. / Rajalingam, Shamala; Rajalingham, Sakthiswary; Hussein, Heselynn.

In: International Medical Journal, Vol. 20, No. 6, 2013, p. 661-664.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rajalingam, Shamala ; Rajalingham, Sakthiswary ; Hussein, Heselynn. / The performance of the antinuclear antibody test in a Malaysian setting. In: International Medical Journal. 2013 ; Vol. 20, No. 6. pp. 661-664.
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