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The Relationship between Anti-Centromere and Scleroderma

Posted Sep 11 2009 4:57pm

Bees target the yellow disk of the daisy but which autoantibodies target the center of these chromosomes?

Systemic sclerosis (or scleroderma) is a multi-system disease that presents in two major ways. Most patients have what is now called " limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis". This is different from localized scleroderma, which affects only the skin.

In limited systemic sclerosis, other organs may be affected but not to the degree seen is what is now called "diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis". In the diffuse form of the disease, renal and lung involvement is common and the lung involvement is typically severe (with interstitial fibrosis).

Almost all patients with systemic sclerosis have a positive anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) and the specific pattern (usually verified by specific immunoassay) can help differentiate the two major forms of the disorder. The limited form (sometimes referred to using the acronym " CREST" because of the presence of calcinosis, Raynaud phenomenon, esophageal involvement, sclerodactyly and telangiectasia) is usually positive for anti-centromere antibody while the diffuse form is not.

Anti-centromere produces a characteristic speckled pattern using indirect immunofluorescence and immunoassays for these antibodies are also now available.

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