Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies

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In medicine and rheumatology, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) are "Autoantibodies directed against cytoplasmic constituents of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and/or monocytes. They are used as specific markers for Wegener Granulomatosis and other diseases, though their pathophysiological role is not clear. ANCA are routinely detected by indirect immunofluorescence with three different patterns: c-ANCA (cytoplasmic), p-ANCA (perinuclear), and atypical ANCA."[1]

ANCA is also seen in vasculitides such as microscopic polyangiitis and Churg-Strauss syndrome, and peripheral ANCA may be present in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Types of ANCA are:[2]

  • myeloperoxidase ANCA usually gives a perinuclear pattern (P-ANCA)
  • proteinase 3 ANCA usually gives a cytoplasmic pattern (C-ANCA)

ANCA are detected by indirect immunofluorescence and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).