In 42 patients with autoimmune thrombocytopenia (AITP) and a positive direct platelet suspension immunofluorescence test (PSIFT), the antigenic specificity of the autoantibodies was studied. Because the autoantibodies were often not detectable in the serum and additional HLA antibodies may disturb the reaction pattern with the platelet panel, we used eluates prepared from the patients' platelets for this study. Thirty-five patients had antibodies equally reactive with normal platelets, irrespective of their antigenic make-up, but not with the platelets from two Glanzmann's disease patients. Absorption and elution experiments in two patients showed that his was probably not due to the presence of a combination of anti-Zwa and anti-Zwb antibodies. Thus, the majority of autoantibodies against platelets seems to be directed against antigenic determinants not present on Glanzmann's disease platelets, but perhaps located on the platelet-membrane glycoproteins IIb and/or IIIa. In ten patients, antibodies of no, or still unknown, specificity were detected. Three of these had additional antibodies not reactive with the platelets of the two Glanzmann patients.

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