Considerable progress has been made in understanding the role of autoantibodies in systemic vasculitides (SV), and consequently testing for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA), anti-glomerular basement membrane antibodies (anti-GBM), and anti-C1q antibodies is helpful and necessary in the diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of small-vessel vasculitis. ANCA-directed proteinase 3 (PR3-) or myeloperoxidase (MPO-) are sensitive and specific serologic markers for ANCA-associated vasculitides (AAV), anti-GBM antibodies are highly specific for the patients with anti-GBM antibody disease (formerly Goodpasture’s syndrome), and autoantibodies to C1q are characteristic of hypocomlementemic urticarial vasculitis syndrome (HUVS; anti-C1q vasculitis). The results of a current EUVAS study have led to changes in the established strategy for the ANCA testing in small-vessel vasculitis. The revised 2017 international consensus recommendations for ANCA detection support the primary use PR3- and MPO-ANCA immunoassays without the categorical need for additional indirect immunofluorescence (IIF). Interestingly, the presence of PR3- and MPO-ANCA have led to the differentiation of distinct disease phenotype of AAV: PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis (PR3-AAV), MPO-ANCA-associated vasculitis (MPO-AAV), and ANCA-negative vasculitis. Further studies on the role of these autoantibodies are required to better categorize and manage appropriately the patients with small-vessel vasculitis and to develop more targeted therapy.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.