Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody

Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody

Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody

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Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) are a group of autoantibodies, mainly of the IgG type, against antigens in the cytoplasm of neutrophil granulocytes (the most common type of white blood cell) and monocytes. They are detected as a blood test in a number of autoimmune disorders, but are particularly associated with systemic vasculitis, so called ANCA-associated vasculitides.


ANCA were originally shown to divide into two main classes, c-ANCA and p-ANCA, based on the pattern of staining on ethanol-fixed neutrophils and the main target antigen. ANCA titres are generally measured using ELISA and indirect immunofluorescence.Radice A & Sinico RA. Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA). Autoimmunity 2005;38(1):93-103. PMID 15804710

  • p-ANCA, or peri-nuclear (protoplasmic-staining) antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies, show a perinuclear staining pattern.

  • c-ANCA, or cytoplasmic (classical) antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies, show a diffusely granular, cytoplasmic staining pattern.

  • ANCA that develop against antigens other than MPO or PR3 will occasionally result in patchy staining when visualized by immunofluorescence, and most commonly occurs in patients with non-vasculitic diseases that are associated with ANCA formation.This pattern is commonly called the 'snowdrift' pattern.

  • A third distinct ANCA, x-ANCA, may be seen in many disease processes, but is most commonly found in chronic inflammatory...... ...
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