What is a positive ANA and what does it mean?
Dec 12, · Having a positive ANA with a speckled pattern does not necessarily mean one has an AI. This ANA pattern tends to be associated with specific antibodies as opposed to a homogenous pattern ANAs. Clinical features in the context of supportive bloodwork/imaging helps physicians determine whether one has an AI or is at risk of having an AI. This decision guide is designed for persons with a positive antinuclear antibody (ANA) who would like to find out more about this test and what the test result may mean. The goal of this guide is to provide information while awaiting evaluation with your doctor, or .
Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms. This decision guide is designed for persons with a positive antinuclear antibody ANA who would like to find out more about this test and what the test result may mean. The goal of this guide is to provide information while awaiting evaluation with your doctor, or for additional information after you have seen him or her.
Qhat keep in mind that this guide is not intended to replace a how to open mpp files on windows evaluation with your doctor.
The diagnoses provided are among the most common that could explain your test results, but the list is not exhaustive and there are many js possibilities. In addition, more than one condition may be present at the same time. Would you like more information about the ANA test in general, or would you rather proceed directly to what your ANA may mean? I'd first rather get more general information about the ANA.
I'd like to learn more specific information about my ANA now. X This content should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a call or visit to a health professional.
Apr 22, · The most important fact to know about an ANA test is that it is extremely SENSITIVE but not a very SPECIFIC test. This means that anyone that could have a possible auto-immune connective tissue disease such as Lupus will have a positive test, but it doesn’t tell you if you certainly have one or which one you have. By itself, a positive ANA does not in any way mean you have an autoimmune disease or need treatment. It simply means that there are autoantibodies present. Without clinical features or lab abnormalities such as leukopenia (low white blood cell count), thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) or protein in the urine, a positive ANA means exactly that. Mar 16, · The ANA test result can sometimes also be positive if you have one of these conditions: Raynaud's syndrome -- a disease that makes your fingers and toes turn blue and feel cold.
None; however, certain medications can affect ANA test results, so tell your healthcare provider about any prescription medications, nonprescription medications, or street drugs you use. Antinuclear antibodies ANA are a group of autoantibodies produced by a person's immune system when it fails to adequately distinguish between "self" and "nonself.
ANA react with components of the body's own healthy cells and cause signs and symptoms such as tissue and organ inflammation, joint and muscle pain, and fatigue. ANA specifically target substances found in the nucleus of a cell, hence the name "antinuclear. However, ANA can cause damage to tissue by reacting with nuclear substances when they are released from injured or dying cells.
The ANA test is one of the primary tests for helping to diagnose a suspected autoimmune disorder or rule out other conditions with similar signs and symptoms. The ANA test may be positive with several autoimmune disorders. Patients with the autoimmune disorder systemic lupus erythematosus SLE are almost always positive for ANA, but the percentage of patients with other autoimmune disorders who have positive ANA results varies. Also, a significant number of patients with a variety of other types of disorders and even some healthy people may be positive for ANA, especially at low levels.
The antinuclear antibody ANA test is used as a primary test to help evaluate a person for autoimmune disorders that affect many tissues and organs throughout the body systemic and is most often used as one of the tests to help diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus SLE.
However, a positive ANA test by itself does not diagnose any one particular disease. Depending on a person's signs and symptoms and the suspected disorder, ANA testing may be followed by additional tests for specific autoantibodies. Some of these tests are considered subsets of the general ANA test and detect the presence of autoantibodies that target specific substances within cell nuclei , including anti-dsDNA , anti-centromere , anti-nucleolar, anti-histone and anti-RNA antibodies.
The ANA test is ordered when someone shows signs and symptoms that a healthcare practitioner suspects are due to a systemic autoimmune disorder. People with autoimmune disorders can have a variety of symptoms that are vague and non-specific and that change over time, progressively worsen, or alternate between periods of flare ups and remissions. A positive ANA test result means that autoantibodies are present. In a person with signs and symptoms, this suggests the presence of an autoimmune disease , but further evaluation is required to assist in making a final diagnosis.
Again, some people without disease can have a positive ANA test. Patterns of cellular fluorescence In addition to a titer, positive results on IFA will include a description of the particular type of fluorescent pattern seen. Different patterns have been associated with different autoimmune disorders, although some overlap may occur. Some of the more common patterns include:. An example of a positive result using the IFA method would give the dilution titer and a description of the pattern, such as "Positive at dilution with a homogenous pattern.
A healthcare practitioner must rely on test results, clinical symptoms, and the person's history for diagnosis. Because symptoms may come and go, it may take months or years to show a pattern that might suggest lupus or any of the other autoimmune diseases. A negative ANA result makes lupus or another autoimmune disease unlikely diagnoses. It usually is not necessary to immediately repeat a negative ANA test; however, due to the episodic nature of autoimmune diseases, it may be worthwhile to repeat the ANA test at a future date if symptoms recur.
A person previously diagnosed with an autoimmune disease may have a negative ANA test if the condition is in a period of remission. Aside from rare cases, further autoantibody subset testing is not necessary if a person has a negative ANA result.
ANA testing is not used to track or monitor the clinical course of lupus ; thus, serial ANA tests for diagnosed patients are not commonly ordered once a diagnosis is established.
Some infections, autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis as well as other conditions mentioned above can give a positive result for the ANA test. These would be considered false-positive results because they are not associated with an autoimmune disease. Such instances are more common in women than men.
ANA are autoantibodies that are directed against certain components found in the nucleus of a cell, hence the name "antinuclear. Autoimmune diseases often have a systemic effect on the body and are very complex by nature. Your healthcare provider will interpret what the test results mean for you and may need to compare your test results as well as the severity of your symptoms over a period of time in order to make a definitive diagnosis. This additional time may also allow your healthcare provider to eliminate other possible causes of your symptoms.
A test for total immunoglobulins may be used to evaluate a person with SLE and a complement test may be done to monitor the course of the disease. You may be able to find your test results on your laboratory's website or patient portal. However, you are currently at Lab Tests Online. You may have been directed here by your lab's website in order to provide you with background information about the test s you had performed. You will need to return to your lab's website or portal, or contact your healthcare practitioner in order to obtain your test results.
Lab Tests Online is an award-winning patient education website offering information on laboratory tests. The content on the site, which has been reviewed by laboratory scientists and other medical professionals, provides general explanations of what results might mean for each test listed on the site, such as what a high or low value might suggest to your healthcare practitioner about your health or medical condition. The reference ranges for your tests can be found on your laboratory report.
They are typically found to the right of your results. If you do not have your lab report, consult your healthcare provider or the laboratory that performed the test s to obtain the reference range. Laboratory test results are not meaningful by themselves. Their meaning comes from comparison to reference ranges. Reference ranges are the values expected for a healthy person. They are sometimes called "normal" values. By comparing your test results with reference values, you and your healthcare provider can see if any of your test results fall outside the range of expected values.
Values that are outside expected ranges can provide clues to help identify possible conditions or diseases. While accuracy of laboratory testing has significantly evolved over the past few decades, some lab-to-lab variability can occur due to differences in testing equipment, chemical reagents, and techniques.
This is a reason why so few reference ranges are provided on this site. It is important to know that you must use the range supplied by the laboratory that performed your test to evaluate whether your results are "within normal limits.
It provides a common language to unambiguously identify things you can measure or observe that enables the exchange and aggregation of clinical results for care delivery, outcomes management, and research. Learn More. Please note when you click on the hyperlinked code, you are leaving Lab Tests Online and accessing Loinc. December 28, Mayo Clinic Staff. ANA test. Accessed on March 23, American College of Rheumatology.
Antinuclear antibodies ANA. Derivation and validation of Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics classification criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. Accessed on March 27, Pagana, Kathleen D. Pp Antinuclear antibody. July 11, Kassan S. What you need to know about Sjogrens syndrome. Accessed March 25, Patel R, Shahan A. Accessed on March 25, February 11, Ranatunga SK. Sjogren syndrome workup. The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine: Antinuclear antibody test.
Guidelines for clinical use of the antinuclear antibody test and tests for specific autoantibodies to nuclear antigens. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine , , 1 : James Williams, MD. Professor of Medicine, Thomas E. Thomas, Clayton L. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. Reeves, W. Fosam, H. Relchlin, M. Laboratory Tests Used in the Diagnosis of Lupus. Lupus Foundation of America [On-line information].
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Richard McPherson and Matthew Pincus, eds. Saunders Elsievier: Philadelphia. Pp , Peter JB. Speciality Laboratories: Los Angeles.
Smalley DL. WB Saunders: Philadelphia. Arbuckle MR et al. Development of autoantibodies before the clinical onset of systemic lupus erythematosus.
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