Anti-centromere antibodies

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Immunofluorescence staining pattern of anti-centromere antibodies on HEp-20-10 cells.
A schematic representation of an antibody.

Anti-centromere antibodies (ACA) occur in auto immune disorders; frequently in limited systemic scleroderma, (formerly called CREST syndrome), and, occasionally are found in the diffuse form of scleroderma. They are rare in other rheumatic conditions and in healthy persons.

Anti-centromere antibodies are found in approximately 60% of patients with limited systemic scleroderma, and in 15% of those with diffuse form of scleroderma. The specificity of this test is >98%. Thus, a positive anticentromere antibody finding is strongly suggestive of limited systemic scleroderma. Anti-centromere antibodies present early in the course of disease, and is notably predictive of limited cutaneous involvement and a decreased likelihood of aggressive internal organ involvement, such as lung fibrosis.[1]

When present in primary biliary cirrhosis, ACA are prognostic of portal hypertension such that serum ACA levels correlate with the severity of portal hypertension.[2]


  1. ^ JB Imboden, DB Hellmann, JH Stone. Current Rheumatology Diagnosis & Treatment, Second Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2007.
  2. ^ Nakamura M, Kondo H, Mori T, et al. (2007). "Anti-gp210 and anti-centromere antibodies are different risk factors for the progression of primary biliary cirrhosis". Hepatology 45 (1): 118–27. doi:10.1002/hep.21472. PMID 17187436.