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· Ex-USMLE Forums Staff
752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The patterns by which antinuclear antibodies stain may give a good diagnostic clue in rheumatological diseases.
This clue is loved by USMLE question writers and it's very important to know the diagnostic significance of each pattern.
Here's a quick review:

  • Rim (Peripheral) Pattern: is very specific for SLE
  • Homogenous Pattern: is also specific for SLE and can be further tested with Anti-dsDNA, Anti-ssDNA, and Anti-Smith.
  • Speckled Pattern: is the most common pattern but it's the least specific is it can be seen SLE, Scleroderma, Sjogren's, Mixed Connective Tissue disease, and also in normal people.
  • Diffuse Pattern: is also non specific
  • Centromere Pattern: is specific for CREST
  • Nucleolar Pattern: is specific for scleroderma and systemic sclerosis
Some other useful threads
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