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February 1972

Atypical FTA in Lupus Erythematosus

Arch Dermatol. 1972;105(2):296. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620050094025

To the Editor.—  We were extremely interested in the paper by Kraus and Daniels1 where a "beaded" FTA result associated with a reactive VDRL first suggested the diagnosis of lupus erythematosus in the patient described. It was also a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus that demonstrated a positive FTA 200 modified by employing goat antihuman γ-globulin (FTA-M) as well as reactive VDRL and Kolmer tests that prompted us to investigate the occurrence of false-positive FTA-M tests in lupus erythematosus and other connective tissue diseases, leading to our preliminary report2 in 1964 and the follow-up study3 in 1966. These false-positive FTA-M tests were reversible by absorption with tumor homogenates and Reiter's sonicate and were designated FTA-MR (FTA absorbed, modified, reversible). Truly reactive syphilitic serum samples were not so reversible. We noted the morphology of the fluorescent spirochete was different from that seen with syphilitic serum samples. The pattern of