What is the role of perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (pANCA) in the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Apr 10, 2020
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (pANCA) have been identified in some patients with ulcerative colitis, and anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA) have been found in patients with Crohn disease. The combination of positive pANCA and negative ASCA has high specificity for ulcerative colitis, whereas the inverse pattern—positive ASCA, negative pANCA—is more specific for Crohn disease. [1] However, false-positive (and false-negative) results are not uncommon; therefore, at this time, serologic markers cannot be used to definitively rule in or exclude inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

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