Point-of-Care Testing for Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases: Benefits and Barriers


Point-of-care testing
Autoimmune rheumatic disorders
Antinuclear antibodies




Point-of-care testing (POCT) is a near-patient detection technique that could provide results within minutes. Compared to conventional laboratory testing, POCT is more beneficial particularly in emergency and urgent care settings. Detection of antinuclear antibodies and autoantibodies against extractable nuclear antigens are critical for the diagnosis and management of autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRD). At present, these autoantibodies are detected using conventional methods that take hours or days in centralized laboratories. POCT for AIRD is hardly practiced as they are chronic illnesses which are seen as clinical emergencies occasionally. Since POCT provides instant results, it may be life-saving in critically ill and confusing cases, particularly those admitted to intensive care units with multisystem organ failure. POCT is also very useful in rural and remote health-care centers, addressing the needs of emergent disease detection. This review aims to provide an overview of the potential use of POCT in AIRD as well as discuss the types, benefits, and shortcomings of POCT devices, and the hurdles that prevent their widespread clinical use.


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