Objective To determine the differences between anti-aminoacyl tRNA synthetase (ARS) antibodies among line blots, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) anti-ARS tests, and RNA-immunoprecipitation (IP) assays. Methods Sera from patients with confirmed or suspected antisynthetase syndrome (ASS) that were positive for either the anti-ARS test or the line-blot assay were used to perform an RNA-IP assay and ELISA to detect individual anti-ARS antibodies. Results Among the 44 patients, 10 were positive only in line-blot assays, 6 were positive only in the anti-ARS test, and 28 were positive in both assays. We compared the accuracy of these assays against the gold standard RNA-IP assay. The κ coefficient was 0.23 in the line-blot assay, but this increased to 0.75 when the cut-off was increased from 1+ to 2+. The κ coefficient was 0.73 in the anti-ARS test. The κ coefficient was 0.85 for positivity in both assays. Patients with ASS that was positive in an RNA-IP assay more frequently had mechanic's hand (62.1% vs. 20%: p=0.031), myositis (51.7 vs. 10%: p=0.028) and more ASS symptoms than those who were positive only in line-blot assays (3.48 vs. 2.2: p=0.019). Conclusions Clinicians need to understand the features of each assay and determine diagnoses by also considering clinical presentations. Diagnoses should not be judged based only on the results of line-blot assays due to the risk of a misdiagnosis from false positives.
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