Anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) antibody is essential for the diagnosis of anti-GBM disease. The major epitope consists of the α3 subunits of type IV collagen non-collagenous domain (α 3(IV)NC1). There have been only a few reports of patients false-positive for anti-GBM antibody. We experienced an 8-year-old boy who presented with asymptomatic hematuria followed by positivity for anti-GBM antibody as evaluated by a commercially available chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay (CLEIA). While his condition remained stable other than continuing hematuria, his anti-GBM antibody titer increased. Further examination of another anti-GBM antibody assay (fluoroenzyme immunoassay) showed negative results. Thus, evaluation of the accuracy of his positivity for anti-GBM antibody was required. We conducted the following examinations: A) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, B) immunoblotting for recombinant α 1-5(IV)NC1, and C) immunohistochemical analysis of normal kidney tissue sections. Specimens used for the analysis were sera in A and IgG from the patient in B and C, respectively. As a result, no anti-GBM antibody was detected in A. In B, no band specific to α 1-5(IV)NC1 was observed. In C, the kidney tissue was not stained. Taken together, these results led us to judge the positive anti-GBM result in CLEIA of our patient to be a non-specific reaction. The commercial assays for anti-GBM antibody can lead to false-positive results. We recommend confirmation of anti-GBM antibody positivity through the use of multiple assays in patients demonstrating an atypical clinical course for anti-GBM disease.

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