Anti-nuclear antibody screening using HEp-2 cells.

Research paper by Carol C Buchner, Cassandra C Bryant, Anna A Eslami, Gabriella G Lakos

Indexed on: 08 Jul '14Published on: 08 Jul '14Published in: Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE


The American College of Rheumatology position statement on ANA testing stipulates the use of IIF as the gold standard method for ANA screening(1). Although IIF is an excellent screening test in expert hands, the technical difficulties of processing and reading IIF slides--such as the labor intensive slide processing, manual reading, the need for experienced, trained technologists and the use of dark room--make the IIF method difficult to fit in the workflow of modern, automated laboratories. The first and crucial step towards high quality ANA screening is careful slide processing. This procedure is labor intensive, and requires full understanding of the process, as well as attention to details and experience. Slide reading is performed by fluorescent microscopy in dark rooms, and is done by trained technologists who are familiar with the various patterns, in the context of cell cycle and the morphology of interphase and dividing cells. Provided that IIF is the first line screening tool for SARD, understanding the steps to correctly perform this technique is critical. Recently, digital imaging systems have been developed for the automated reading of IIF slides. These systems, such as the NOVA View Automated Fluorescent Microscope, are designed to streamline the routine IIF workflow. NOVA View acquires and stores high resolution digital images of the wells, thereby separating image acquisition from interpretation; images are viewed an interpreted on high resolution computer monitors. It stores images for future reference and supports the operator's interpretation by providing fluorescent light intensity data on the images. It also preliminarily categorizes results as positive or negative, and provides pattern recognition for positive samples. In summary, it eliminates the need for darkroom, and automates and streamlines the IIF reading/interpretation workflow. Most importantly, it increases consistency between readers and readings. Moreover, with the use of barcoded slides, transcription errors are eliminated by providing sample traceability and positive patient identification. This results in increased patient data integrity and safety. The overall goal of this video is to demonstrate the IIF procedure, including slide processing, identification of common IIF patterns, and the introduction of new advancements to simplify and harmonize this technique.