Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 38, Issue 12, pp 3627–3633 | Cite as

Investigation of anti-DFS70 antibody in patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases

  • Bilal Olcay PekerEmail author
  • Aslı Gamze Şener
  • Emine Figen Tarhan
  • Selçuk Kaya
Original Article



Dense fine-speckled 70 (DFS70) antibody is defined as an antinuclear antibody (ANA) pattern in indirect immunofluorescence (IIF). The presence of anti-DFS70 antibody has been shown as a potential marker for the exclusion of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARD) (without any other SARD-associated autoantibodies). We aimed to investigate the frequency of anti-DFS70 antibodies in patients with SARD and in the blood bank donors (BD).

Materials and methods

The study group consists of 418 rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 101 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 71 Sjogren’s syndrome (SS), 43 ankylosing spondylitis (AS), 36 systemic sclerosis-scleroderma (SSc), 2555 undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD), and 507 BD. All samples were tested on the HEp-2 IIF-ANA assay. Samples that showed DFS70 pattern in IIF were confirmed by a specific DFS70 antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


The DFS70 pattern was detected in 43 (1.33%) in SARD and four (0.78%) in BD. The anti-DFS70 antibody was detected in three (0.59%) in BD, six (1.43%) in RA, three (2.97%) in SLE, one (1.40%) in SS, and 25 (0.97%) in UCTD, however, it was not detected in AS and SSc by ELISA. There was no significant difference between BD and SARD (p = 0.28). Distinctly, the frequency of anti-DFS70 was significantly different for SLE in SARD (p = 0.02).


Anti-DFS70 antibody was more prevalent in the subsets of SARD than BD. This result may be related to the demographic formation of study groups and individual immunological status. More comprehensive studies are needed to investigate the importance of the anti-DFS70 antibody for SARD.

Key Points

• This study draws attention to the importance of anti-DFS70 antibodies in the diagnostic algorithm in systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases.

• This study emphasizes the further investigation of anti-DFS70 antibodies in undifferentiated connective tissue diseases.

• This study emphasizes the need to verify the DFS70 pattern detected in IIF-ANA test for definitive diagnosis with additional confirmation methods.


Anti-DFS70 antinuclear antibody Indirect immunofluorescence Systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease Systemic lupus erythematosus 


Author contributions

BOP contributed to the writing of the manuscript at the stage of data collection, assay setup, and interpretation of data; AGS contributed to the review of the data and writing of the manuscript; EFT contributed to the selection of patients and the interpretation of data clinically; SK contributed to the review of the data. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.


This study was funded by the scientific research projects support department of Izmir Katip Celebi University Ataturk Training and Research Hospital (grant number 2014-15).

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the Katip Celebi University ethics committee of clinical research (April 9, 2014, Approval Number 60) and performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki.




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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical MicrobiologyIzmir Katip Çelebi University Atatürk Training and Research HospitalIzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Department of RheumatologyMuğla Sıtkı Koçman University Research and Training HospitalMuğlaTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Medical MicrobiologyIzmir Katip Çelebi University Medical FacultyIzmirTurkey

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