View Full Version : ANA results

01-22-2007, 10:08 AM
Does anyone know how to compare ANA result forms? One time I was given it is a ratio 1:80, once as a decimal 1.7, and most recently as a full number 14. All are, as I know, faintly positive, but can I tell if they are increasing at all? What's with all the different formats?

01-22-2007, 04:51 PM
Hi, 4hugs, I'm not sure how the different formats compare to each other. What you can do is go to the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science website and submit a question about your lab test results - someone there will probably be able to answer your question.


morning star
03-16-2007, 05:56 PM
Does anyone know if 1:320 is considered low positive ANA? I was told it was low but I've looked on the web and it's considered high?

03-17-2007, 07:43 AM
Hi, MorningStar. Different labs can use different reference ranges, so the significance of an ANA test depends a little on what lab it's done in. Some labs use 1:80 as the cut-off point for a "positive" test - others use 1:40. You also have to take into account the way the test is performed, which involves diluting a blood sample in a specified amount of fluid, and checking for the presence of antibodies. Because the amount of test fluid doubles with each dilution, so the numbers (called a titer). In other words, the results double each time - 1:80, 1:160: 1:320: 1:640. 1:1280 and so on. So while the difference between 80 and 320 sounds very large, it is only two dilutions, which may or may not be significant - it really depends more on your other lab tests and symptoms.

ANA is basically a screening test - it is not a diagnostic test. So having a positive ANA doesn't mean you necessarily have lupus. About 5% of the population will have a positive ANA without any underlying disease - there are also many medical conditions which can cause a positive ANA - including autoimmune illnesses, thyroid disease, viral illnesses like mono, and bacterial infections. There are also many medications which can cause a positive ANA. So, while most people with lupus will have a positive ANA at some point in the disease, the majority of people with a positive ANA do not have lupus. To decide whether a positive ANA is a warning sign of an underlying illness, doctors have to look at other lab tests, such as additional antibody panels, blood counts, c-reactive protein, sedimentation rate, urinalysis, and also have to look at the pattern of your symptoms, and whether they indicate a particular disease.

morning star
03-17-2007, 08:01 PM
Thank you for your reply, I was just seen by my general practioner who ran some lab work along with ANA and my result was 1:320 positive. All other labwork was okay including the RA test. He has referred me to a Rheumatologist. The last 2 weeks I've suffered from chest pain and shortness of breath it feels like a can't breathe in good, kinda restricted and it hasn't let up and I'm a little worried. Wonder if I should go see my general practioner again since my appointment with my Rheum. is 2 1/2 weeks away. I also wonder if lupus can be brought on by stress, because I had a horrible car accident a year ago I actually felt pretty good last summer but since then I felt awful, but I just was blaming it on my neck and back injuries, but when I started having breathing problems and then felt like I had a bad case of the flu for several days I began to wonder.

03-18-2007, 01:37 PM
There are lots of different "triggers" that can cause people who have the genetic predisposition for lupus to flare into a full-fledged case - stress is definitely one of them, pain, injury, surgery - anything like that can trigger a flare. If you are noticing trouble breathing or shortness of breath, I would definitely recommend seeing your gp if you can't get into the rheumie.

morning star
03-22-2007, 10:27 AM
I went to my pcp monday who was out due to spring break so I saw his PA who didn't know much, but said I might have Asthma and told me to take my Albuterol, well it help a little bit, but yesterday I started having even more shortness of breath, so I went to the ER who said well your ECG, chest x-ray and lab all came back okay I think you have anxiety. So 2 different Dr.'s giving me 2 different diagnosis. So any ways he gave me Xanax to take and has it helped with my breathing "no" just made me extremely tired and of course I'm not hyperventaling like I was yesterday because it has calmed me down. I'm getting so tired of incompetent Dr's. Doe's anyone have any suggestions? and my O2 sat's were 100%????

03-23-2007, 07:40 PM
O2 saturation measures the amount of oxygen getting into your blood - so 100% is perfect - right where you want to be. Less than 100 % might indicate asthma, a chest cold, flu, or pneumonia, anything that interferes with your breathing. Your o2 sats can drop quite a bit before you start feeling short of breath.

If you find yourself hyperventilating, it can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, tinging, even fainting. Try meditation, or just humming to calm yourself. Put on some music and sing along - singing helps you regulate your breathing. If you feel really dizzy and are hyperventilating, try the brown paper bag trick - get a paper bag and breathe into it for a minute or two. That will get your oxygen and co2 levels back to normal

morning star
03-25-2007, 03:15 PM
Thanks again for your reply. Well the Xanax did help with my anxiety I guess I was having due to me not being able to breathe. However I still cannot breathe. I called my PCP who will be out until tomorrow. So I guess I'll check with him to see what he has to say, My rheum. appt is 1 1/2 weeks away. Anyone had any problems with breathing? The only thing that does relieve it somewhat is my Lortab and Albuterol, but as soon as it wears off it's back and it really doesn't do alot of good. I have a friend who has lupus and she said I sound just like she does when she's having lung prob's and they dr told her it was like micro inflammed where it cannot be seen on a xray?

05-15-2007, 10:49 AM
Is shortness of breath a Lupus symptom? Forgive me if I am ignorant, just new and not sure of alot of things. Still learning... :wink:


05-15-2007, 11:54 AM
I get shortness of breath a lot--sometimes due to pleurisy, sometimes due to my heart malfunctioning. If you are feeling this, and it's more than just a little bothersome, get to the doctor and have it checked out.

Once I had it, and didn't realize I had full-blown pneumonia AND a ruptured disk in my back--right behind my lungs. I didn't even think it was a big enough deal to go to the doc, but my hubby made me go. ;)

Of course, if you're feeling tense or stressed about "stuff", that could cause it, too.

It's probably nothing, but you'll feel better knowing.

05-22-2007, 11:41 AM
Hi Tbird;

Shortness of breath may be a sign or symptom of heart or lung involvement with Lupus. You may experience chest pain (sometimes on deep breathing-in), shortness of breath, cough, and ankle swelling. The most common features, when lupus involves the heart or the lungs, are in the linings of these organs, the pleura and pericardium. These organs become inflammed causing pleurisy (lungs) and pericarditis (heart).

THE LUNGS: Lupus commonly affects the lungs and has been reported in half of all patients with lupus. There are a couple of ways that Lupus affects the lungs. 1) Pleurisy - This is a disorder of the lining of the lung (pleura) and is the most common manifestation of lung involvement in lupus. It is inflammation in the lining of the lung and causes a type of chest pain characterised by sharpness, which is worsened by breathing in. When the pleura becomes inflamed then fluid may collect, normally in small volumes.
Treatment are non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but small doses of oral steroid tablets (Prednisolone) are sometimes required to effectively relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation.
Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus frequently have inflamed heart tissue, and as a result have a rapid pulse. This racing of the heart or tachycardia, is common in the disorder and is managed with anti-inflammatory therapies.
The pericardium is a protective lining that surrounds the heart. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium. Most patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus develop secondary heart disease at some time during the course of the primary illness. The most common forms of this type of heart disease are acute fibrinous pericarditis and ypertension.
This condition occurs when antigen-antibody complexes-also known as immune complexes-are made during active lupus and cause inflammation within the pericardium. The symptoms are: Sharp chest pain that can change with changes in the body's position and frequently may be relieved by leaning forward slightly; this chest pain may feel like a heart attack and shortness of breath.
Lupus pericarditis can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.
If anti-inflammatory drug therapy is unsuccessful, a brief course of corticosteroid treatment is usually needed.
If pericarditis is due to infection or kidney failure, the treatment is different than if it is due to lupus.

I hope that I've answered your question. Let me know if you need any more information!

Peace and Blessings

05-22-2007, 05:01 PM
My breath is so short lately that I have a very difficult time finishing sentences. My husband recently made the comment that I talk like a very old woman. I have to wait until July 13 to see the rheumy, and this symptom has me worried. I often have a pain in my chest,especially after a long hard day of school. Also, every time I take a deep breath, I have a dry, "hacking" little cough. I've been doing this ever since I got over bronchitis in March, so I had thought that it was a remnant of the bronchitis. Is this more serious than I thought?

05-23-2007, 09:21 AM
Marla, you should definitely check with your primary care doctor or your rheumie and be seen. Shortness of breath should always be evaluated by a doctor to make sure it is nothing serious. And if you are taking prednisone or immunesuppressants, it's especially important, because they can make you more vulnerable to possible lung infections.

05-23-2007, 12:44 PM
Marla, I agree with Marycain--you should get yourself to a doctor earlier than July 13th.
Why not opt for an urgent care or different doctor?
Please, you shouldn't wait... It could be serious, or it could be not serious--but you need to know either way.