On a daily basis, large clinical laboratories must analyse thousands of blood samples with a wide variety of test procedures. In order to efficiently process this high sample throughput, laboratories use large automated instrument systems that are simple to use and can carry out a large proportion of the routine and special diagnoses more or less automatically.
For smaller specialized laboratories and for the particular requirements of autoimmune diagnostics these large "diagnostic highways" are not suitable. In these cases, only a few individual samples require testing with very individualized analyses that do not use routine parameters. Examples include the detection of rheumatoid factors and of antibodies against mutated citrullinated vimentin (MCV), the differentiation between c-ANCA1) (anti-proteinase 3) and p-ANCA (anti-myeloperoxidase), and the detection of anti-tTG2) or thyroglobulin antibodies.
There are smaller instruments available that make it possible to process such samples individually so that it is not necessary to carry them out by hand, which is complicated.