01-01-2009, 01:30 PM
Hello, I have some results back from the doctor and I am not sure how to tell what is going on. How do you breakdown a ANA result to tell what pattern it is? The Rheumi here in this town that I live in is not that great. She is still not sure if I have Lupus for sure. The only Lupus symptoms that I have had are a WBC of 3.9 and goes down to 2.7 one time and two positive ANA test results. I had an MRI and I have a bulging disc in my back with a mild herniation, so I feel like this explains a lot of my nerve problems that I have been having. I have an SSA of 580. I don't notice a dry mouth or dry eyes. I am lost as to what is going on. My other main symptoms are acid reflux like symptoms. Any suggestions! Happy New Year to all of you!
01-01-2009, 04:56 PM
Welcome to the site. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose. My mother had lupus, my sister has been diagnosed.
I've had a couple of mixed results for ANA. I have dry eyes and butterfly rash and a few other lupus like goodies.
But I have not as yet been diagnosed. I am on medication which is helping alot.
I'm sure someone will be along soon who can go over your results with you. I just wanted to say welcome and hang in there.
Have they started you on any medications?
I'm on plaquenil and arthrotec 75 (for joint issues)
01-06-2009, 08:58 AM
Determining the pattern of the ANA is done by the lab. When your results were reported, it should have included the pattern. Most labs will use the immunofluorescent (IFA) technique for testing ANA. The staining patterns in these tests offer specific clues as to which particular antinuclear antibody or antibodies may be present. The specific autoantibody that's present, in turn, gives the physician information as to what autoimmune disease may be present or what other specific autoantibody tests need to be performed. In some cases, more than one autoimmune disease (overlap syndromes) may be present, which causes more than one ANA pattern to be present in a sample. Some patterns are more specific for particular diseases than others. For example, in SLE, a homogeneous pattern is present, whereas a nucleolar pattern is seen in scleroderma and a centromere pattern in the CREST variant of scleroderma. The type of pattern determines what antibodies might be present. For instance, in a homogeneous pattern, anti-DNA antibodies are possible and this test would be recommended, whereas it would not be recommended in patients who have a speckled pattern ANA. The most common secondary antibody tests performed based on ANA results include: anti-DNA, anti-Sm, anti-RNP, SS-A and SS-B.
As SITC mentioned, Lupus is a very difficult disease to diagnose, partly because its symptoms and lab results could also indicate so many other auto-immune disorders. Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) can occur in a number of different autoimmune disorders including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjogren's syndrome (as explained above). Because many lupus symptoms mimic other illnesses, are sometimes hard to determine and may come and go, lupus diagnoses must include a careful review of a your entire medical history coupled with an analysis of the results obtained in routine laboratory tests and some specialized tests related to immune status.
I hope that I've answered your question. Please let us know if you need more information.
Peace and Blessings