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scarednewmom
07-23-2008, 02:31 PM
I AM HAVING ALL KINDS OF HEALH PROBLEMS, ALL AFTER GIVING BIRTH TO MY CHILD. I WROTE ANOTHER TOPIC IN THE NEWLY DIAGNOSED AREA. ANYHOW, TO MAKE ALONG STORY SHORT I HAVE BEEN SUFFERING FROM REOCCURENT C-DIFF INFECTION. IVE BEEN TO 2 SPECIALISTS. INFECTIOUS DISEASE DOCTOR, NOW A GI DOCTOR. ANYHOW I HAVE TO HAVE A COLONOSCOPY DONE, AND WHILE I WAS THERE I MENTIONED THAT I HAVE MY FIRST RHEUMATOLOGIST APPOINTMENT. HE ASKED WHY AND I SAID BECAUSE I AM EXPERIENCING SEVERAL HAIR LOSS (BALD PATCHES) AND STIFF ACHY JOINTS AND HORRIBLE FATIGUE AND ALSO A POSITIVE ANA AND A SED RATE OF 23. HE SAID WELL SOME PEOPLE CAN HAVE A POSITIVE ANA DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING. HE SAID DEPENDS ON WHAT YOUR LEVELS WERE. AND I ASKED HIM TO LOOK THEM UP, SO HE WAS SPINNING THROUGH MY ONLINE CHART AND WELL HIS EYESS LITE UP AND HE SAID YEAH YOURS IS PRETTY HIGH. AND I ASKED HOW HIGH, HE HESITANTLY SAID 1 IN 12,000.....I GUESS I DONT EXACTLY KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS AND IT IS SCARING ME. I ALSO HAD A SED RATE OF 23 AND HE SAID IF YOU HAD A COLD THAT COULD EVEN READ 23. BUT IT REALLY SCARES ME. AND I RESEARCHED 1:12000 AND IT WASN'T GOOD. SO CAN ANYBODY ELSE HELP WITH MY LAB RESULTS. THANKS.

cheryl_v
07-23-2008, 07:26 PM
Hello :D , congrats on new baby. Try labtestonline.org, someone here mentioned it in a post. It has lots of good things about tests, explains well too. Has a drop column for test, to make it easier for you to find what you want. Hope this helps.

Saysusie
07-24-2008, 08:31 AM
In order to understand the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test, it is first important to understand different types of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins, produced by white blood cells, which normally circulate in the blood to defend against foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins.

Autoantibodies attack the body's own celss, instead of acting against foreign invaders as normal antibodies do. Antinuclear antibodies are a unique group of autoantibodies that have the ability to attack structures in the nucleus of cells. The nucleus of a cell contains genetic material referred to as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).

There is an ANA (antinuclear antibody) test which can be performed on a patient's blood sample as part of the diagnostic process to detect certain autoimmune diseases, such as Lupus.

To perform the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test, sometimes called FANA (fluorescent antinuclear antibody test), a blood sample is drawn from the patient and sent to the lab for testing. Serum from your blood specimen is added to microscope slides which have commerically prepared cells on the slide surface. If your serum contains antinuclear antibodies (ANA), they bind to the commercially prepared cells (specifically the nuclei of these cells) on the slide.

A second antibody, commercially tagged with a fluorescent dye, is added to the mix of your serum and the commercially prepared cells on the slide. The second (fluorescent) antibody attaches to the serum antibodies and cells which have bound together. When viewed under an ultraviolet microscope, antinuclear antibodies appear as fluorescent cells.
If fluorescent cells are observed, the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test is considered positive. If fluorescent cells are not observed, the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test is considered negative.

A titer is determined by repeating the positive test with serial dilutions until the test yields a negative result. The last dilution which yields a positive result (flourescence) is the titer which gets reported. For example, if a titer performed for a positive ANA test is:
1:10 still positive
1:20 still positive
1:40 still positive
1:80 still positive
1:160 still positive
1:320 negative result

The reported titer in our example is 1:160 because that was the last titer that showed a positive result.

An ANA report has three parts:
* positive or negative
* if positive, a titer is determined and reported
* the pattern of flourescence is reported

ANA titers and patterns can vary between laboratory testing sites, perhaps because each laboratory has their own methodology of testing and reporting. But, these are the commonly recognized patterns:
* Homogeneous - total nuclear fluorescence due to antibody directed against nucleoprotein. Common in SLE (lupus).
* Peripheral - fluorescence occurs at edges of nucleus in a shaggy appearance. Anti-DNA antibodies cause this pattern. Also common in SLE (lupus).
* Speckled - results from antibody directed against different nuclear antigens.
* Nucleolar - results from antibody directed against a specific RNA configuration of the nucleolus or antibody specific for proteins necessary for maturation of nucleolar RNA. Seen in patients with systemic sclerosis.

Positive ANAs are found in patients who have various autoimmune diseases, but not only autoimmune diseases. ANAs can be found also in patients with infections, cancer, lung diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, hormonal diseases, blood diseases, skin diseases, and in elderly people or people with a family history of rheumatic disease. ANAs are actually found in about 5% of the normal population.

The ANA results are just one factor in diagnosing, and must be considered together with your other clinical symptoms and other diagnostic tests. Medical history also plays a role because some prescription drugs can cause "drug-induced ANAs".

Statistically speaking, the incidence of positive ANA (in percent) per conditon is:
* Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus or SLE) - over 95%
* Progressive systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) - 60-90%
* Rheumatoid Arthritis - 25-30%
* Sjogren's syndrome - 40-70%
* Felty's syndrome - 100%
* Juvenile arthritis - 15-30%

Most doctors will interpret an ana of 1:320 as positive (16 dilutions). Your ana was 1:1200 which means that it took over 60 dilutions for your blood to have negative antiobodies. That is a lot of dilutions, indicating that you have ha high number of antibodies. If your doctor looks at this along with your other clinical symptoms and blood tests (some of which you've already stated were positive), he would then suspect that you have Lupus and that your lupus is active right now.

Treatment will probably be started immediately and he may put you on Prednisone and Plaquenil along with NSAIDs for pain. The Prednisone will help to suppress your over-active immune system (as indicated by the high positive ANA) and inflammation, the Plaquenil will help with fatigue, hair loss, skin lesions, etc., and the NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen) will help with the pain.

Please let us know how your doctor appointment goes and know that you may come to us at any time with questions, concerns, or just to vent or just to participate in our family!

Peace and Blessings
Saysusie