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Antinuclear Autoantibodies (ANA) in Gulf War-Related Illness and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients

  [ 17 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • August 12, 2002

Source: Clin Exp Immunol 2002 Aug;129(2):354-8  Skowera A, Stewart E, Davis ET, Cleare AJ, Unwin C, Hull L, Ismail K, Hossain G, Wessely SC, Peakman M.  Department of Immunology and Department of Psychological Medicine, Guy's, King's & St Thomas' School of Medicine, King's College London, London, UK.

It is established that veterans of the 1991 Gulf War have an increased frequency of experiencing multiple symptoms. The underlying mechanism of these ailments is unclear, although they do not correspond to any clearly defined syndrome. The most common symptoms overlap with those of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

CFS was recently associated with a novel subtype of antinuclear autoantibody (ANA) that reacts with nuclear envelope (NE) antigens. NE autoantibodies are not known to be linked with any distinct clinical condition, but have been observed in patients with unusual mixed chronic autoimmune disorders and connective tissue diseases.

In this study, we examined whether NE ANAs are a feature of patients with CFS and symptomatic Gulf War veterans (sGWV). We studied the prevalence of ANA in 130 sGWV, 90 well Gulf War veterans (wGWV), 128 symptomatic Bosnia and Era veterans (sBEV), 100 CFS patients, and 111 healthy control subjects matching for age and sex. We found no significant difference in the prevalence of ANAs between any of the groups. None of the patients/or veterans we studied had ANA of the NE type. Our results show that multisymptom illness due to CFS or related to Gulf War service is not associated with antinuclear autoimmunity.

PMID: 12165094 [PubMed - in process]

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