06-13-2005, 01:58 PM
An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test measures the amount and pattern of abnormal antibody that work against the body's tissues (autoantibody). Everyone has a small amount of autoantibody, but about 5% of people have a larger amount. About half of these 5% have an autoimmune disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis. An ANA test alone cannot diagnose a specific disease. It is used in combination with an evaluation of symptoms and other tests.
The body's immune system normally attacks and destroys foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. However, in disorders known as autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks and destroys the body's normal tissues. When a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune system produces antibodies that attach to the body's own cells as though they were foreign substances, often causing them to be damaged or destroyed. A thorough medical history, physical examination, and other tests besides an ANA test are needed to confirm a suspected autoimmune disease.
The results of an antinuclear antibody (ANA) test are expressed in titers. A titer is a measure of how much the blood sample can be diluted before the presence of the antibodies can no longer be detected. A titer of 1 to 80 (1:80) means that antibodies could be last detected when 1 part of the blood sample was diluted by 80 parts of another liquid (usually a dilute salt solution). A larger second number indicates that the antibodies are present in greater concentration. Therefore, a titer of 1 to 320 indicates a higher concentration of antibodies in the blood than a titer of 1 to 80.
There are different subtypes of ANA which may have a range of normal values.High values
* A high ANA titer may indicate systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE can be present with titers from 1 to 40 and higher. Almost all people with SLE have a high ANA titer. However, most people with a high ANA titer do not have SLE. Only about one-third of people who are referred to a rheumatologist for high ANA titers are diagnosed with SLE. Other conditions may cause a high ANA titer. About 30% to 40% of people with rheumatoid arthritis have a high ANA titer.
* Many conditions may result in a high ANA titer. These conditions include autoimmune diseases, such as scleroderma, Sjögren's syndrome, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and myositis. Other conditions with a high ANA titer include Raynaud's syndrome, viral infections, and liver disease. Although an ANA titer may help support a diagnosis for these conditions, it is not used by itself to confirm a diagnosis. A thorough medical history, physical examination, and other tests are needed to confirm a suspected autoimmune disease.
* Some apparently healthy individuals have high levels of antinuclear antibodies. For instance, some people with a family history of autoimmune disease may have a high ANA titer. The higher the titer, however, the more likely it is that the person has an autoimmune disease.
Peace and Blessings
06-22-2005, 07:49 AM
It all started when I was 21 and was pregnant with my son. My liver enzymes were sky high also. The Dr. kept asking me if I was drinking!!!!!!!! Finally this week, 2 years later, I have been diagnosed with lupus. I'm almost relieved that I'm not crazy there is something wrong with me.
06-23-2005, 06:35 AM
:twisted: Ugghh!.. ignorant, uneducated and misinformed doctors just make my blood boil!!!
"Are You Drinking!!!" grrrrrr :x
We have all been where you are: Glad to have a diagnosis of a disease as opposed to having a diagnosis of mental instability because some of these doctors out there can drive us to insanity!!
You are not alone in the way that you feel. We all have felt the same thing and we are here for you. Especially to let you know that..
IT IS NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD!!!
Peace and Blessings