Antihistone antibodies

Alphabetical Test listing

Antihistone antibodies-13350

Antihistone antibodies
Drug induced Lupus antibodies
H2a/H2b and H3 and H4 antibodies

Semiquantitative result of IgG class antibodies


Histones are lysine-rich and arginine-rich basic proteins of eukaryotic cells which are predominantly found as complexes with DNA. Antibodies to histones are detected in approximately 30% to 60% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but their presence in about 95% of patients with drug-induced lupus is more important diagnostically.

1.0 mL
0.5 mL
Submission of the minimum volume does not allow for repeat testing

Immediatley following collection, mix sample by gently inverting 5 times

  1. Allow sample to clot for a minimum of 30 minutes
  2. Spin within two (2) hours of sample collection

Gold serum separator (SST) tube

  1. Allow sample to clot
  2. Spin
  3. Transfer serum to a Transfer vial/tube with cap - 12mL (LabCorp), labelled as serum, within two (2) hours of sample collection

Ambient (preferred) - 14 days
Refrigerated - 14 days
Frozen - 14 days

  • Hemolysis
  • Icterus
  • Lipemia
  • Bacterial contamination
LabCorp Burlington (012518): R-LC
Tu, Th
2 - 6 days

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)


Negative:             <1.0 units
Weak positive:        1.0−1.5 units
Moderate positive:   1.6−2.5 units
Strong positive:     >2.5 units


Drug-induced lupus (primarily caused by procainamide and hydralazine) is clinically similar to SLE, except that the former patients do not have kidney or central nervous system involvement and they do not demonstrate the multiple types of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) often found in SLE patients. In addition, drug-induced antihistone antibodies react strongly withH2a/H2b fragments (in procainamide-induced SLE) as well as H3 and H4 (in hydralazine-induced SLE). In patients with drug-induced lupus, antihistone antibodies are usually the only ANAs, although antibodies to denaturated DNA have been detected in a small percentage of patients. Antihistone antibodies also occur in approximately 20% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.