Abstract Background The V Brazilian Consensus for determination of autoantibodies against cellular constituents on HEp-2 cells, held in Brasilia (DF, Brazil) on August 27, 2016, discussed the harmonization between the Brazilian Consensus on ANA (BCA) guidelines and the International Consensus on ANA Patterns (ICAP) recommendations (www.anapatterns.org). Initial guidelines were formulated by the group of Brazilian experts with the purpose of guiding and enabling Brazilian clinical laboratories to adopt recommendations and to provide a common standard for national and international consensuses. Mainbody Twenty Brazilian researchers and experts from universities and clinical laboratories representing the various geographical regions of the country participated in the meeting. Three main topics were discussed, namely the harmonization between the BCA guidelines and latest recommendations of the ICAP initiative, the adjustment of the terminology and report on HEp-2 patterns, and a reassessment of quality assurance parameters. For the three topics, our aim was to establish specific guidelines. All recommendations were based on consensus among participants. There was concrete progress in the adjustment of the BCA guidelines to match the ICAP guidelines. To a certain extent, this derives from the fact that ICAP recommendations were largely based on the algorithm and recommendations of the IV Brazilian ANA Consensus, as consistently recognized in the ICAP publications and presentations. However, although there is great overlap between the two Consensuses, there are some point divergences. These specific items were individually and extensively discussed, and it was acknowledged that in several points ICAP improved recommendations previously issued by the Brazilian ANA Consensus and these changes were readily implemented. Regarding some specific topics, the BCA panel of experts felt that the previously issued recommendations remained relevant and possibly will require further discussion with ICAP. The term anti-cell antibodies was adopted as the recommended designation, recognizing that the assay addresses antibodies against antigens in the nucleus and in other cell compartments. However, the acronym ANA HEp-2 was maintained due to historical and regulatory reasons. It was also signalized that the latest trend in ICAP is to adopt the term Indirect Immunofluorescent Assay on HEp-2 cell substrate (HEp-2 IIFA). In addition, the quality assurance strategies previously presented were ratified and emphasized. Conclusion The V BCA edition was successful in establishing an overall harmonization with the ICAP recommendations for interpretation of the HEp-2 IIFA test, pinpointing the perspectives in filling the remaining gaps between both initiatives.