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January 1977

Borderline and Reactive FTA-ABS Results in Lupus Erythematosus

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital; the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania (Dr Shore); and the William Pepper Laboratory, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (Mr Faricelli), Philadelphia.

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(1):37-41. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640010039004

• Fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption tests were performed on serum samples from 43 patients with lupus erythematosus (LE). Seven borderline and three reactive results were obtained from patients who had no evidence of syphilis, and Treponema pallidum immobilization (TPI) tests were nonreactive. These probable nonsyphilitic reactions were associated with discoid LE (DLE) as frequently as with systemic LE (SLE). Three of these serum samples were reactive in the microhemagglutination assay for T pallidum antibodies (MHA-TP), but titers were low. Reactive FTA-ABS tests were also obtained from four patients with LE with evidence of syphilis. All four serum samples were highly reactive in the MHA-TP test.

These findings suggest that nonsyphilitic FTA-ABS fluorescence is (1) common with both DLE and SLE, (2) frequently not "beaded" in pattern, and (3) often detectable when MHA-TP tests are performed.

(Arch Dermatol 113:37-41, 1977)

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