[Skip to Navigation]
May 1969

The Immunofluorescent Tumor Imprint Technique: IV. The Significance of "Thready" Nuclear Immunofluorescence

Author Affiliations


From the departments of dermatology (Dr. Burnham) and pathology (Dr. Fine) and the Serology Laboratory (Dr. Neblett and Miss Bank), Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit.

Arch Dermatol. 1969;99(5):611-616. doi:10.1001/archderm.1969.01610230103020

Sera of 4,823 patients with connective tissue diseases, dermatoses, and various medical diseases were tested for antinuclear antibodies by the immunofluorescent tumor imprint technique. This technique employs touch imprints of tumors as nuclear substrate to detect antinuclear antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence. Thready nuclear immunofluorescence was seen much more frequently in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (37.9% of the antinuclear factor positive patients) than in rheumatoid arthritis (4.3% of the antinuclear factor positive patients). Systemic lupus erythematosus is statistically the best diagnosis in a clinically atypical patient suspected of having either SLE or rheumatoid arthritis if thready nuclear immunofluorescence is seen. These findings emphasize the need for strict attention to nuclear immunofluorescent morphology, thereby greatly enhancing the diagnostic value of antinuclear factor tests.

Add or change institution