Frequency of Autoantibodies in Normal Children

Alberto Martini, Renata Lorini, Domenico Zanaboni, Angelo Ravelli, Roberto G. Burgio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Very few data have been reported on the frequency of autoantibodies in normal children. In the present study we investigated the frequency of 14 AAs in a total of 268 apparently normal children Forty-one children were positive for at least one AA, usually in a low titer; two children were positive for two AAs. None of these children had a personal or family history of autoimmune diseases. The percentage of children positive for each AA was as follows: antinuclear, 3%; anti–smooth muscle, 2.6%; antireticulin, 2.6%; antimitochondrial, 1.1%; rheumatoid factor, 0.6%; antiribosomal, 0.4%; anti–gastric parietal cells, 5.2%; and anti–thyroid microsomal, 1.3%. Anti–double-stranded DNA, anti–intestinal epithelial cells, antiliver and antikidney microsomal, antithyroglobulin, anti–islet cells, and complement-fixing anti–islet cell antibodies were not detected in any serum. Fifteen of the 41 positive children were checked for the presence of AAs two years later; six were still positive, always for the same AA, without major differences in titer. Our results suggest that the overall frequency of AAs in apparently healthy children is quite similar to that reported in young adults; this AA positivity seems most often to represent a transient phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-496
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Diseases of Children
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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