Sera from 36 patients with active chronic hepatitis were studied for the presence of antibodies to double-stranded (native) DNA. These antibodies are a specific antinuclear antibody previously shown to have a high degree of specificity for systemic lupus erythematosus. Fifteen of the 36 patients (42%) were found to have levels of antibody usually only reported in systemic lupus erythematosus and higher than those seen in a control population. Anti-DNA antibodies were not found in a group of 22 patients with other forms of liver disease.
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