This study was conducted to determine the spectrum of laboratory practices in antinuclear antibody (ANA) test target, performance, and result reporting.

A questionnaire on ANA testing was distributed by the Diagnostic Immunology and Flow Cytometry Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) to laboratories participating in the 2016 CAP ANA proficiency survey.

Results Of 5847 survey kits distributed, 1206 (21%) responded. ANA screening method varied: 55% indirect immunofluorescence assay, 21% ELISA, 12% multibead immunoassay, and 18% other methods. The name of the test indicated the method used in only 32% of laboratories; only 39% stated the method used on the report. Of 644 laboratories, 80% used HEp-2 cell substrate, 18% HEp-2000 (HEp-2 cell line engineered to overexpress SSA antigen, Ro60), and 2% other. Slides were prepared manually (67%) or on an automated platform (33%) and examined by direct microscopy (84%) or images captured by an automated platform (16%). Only 50% reported a positive result at the customary 1:40 dilution. Titer was reported to endpoint routinely by 43%, only upon request by 23%, or never by 35%. Of the laboratories, 8% did not report dual patterns. Of those reporting multiple patterns, 23% did not report a titer with each pattern.

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