ANA Test Result??
After having skin rashes "purpura" and joint pains I had an ANA test done. The results came back 10420 which my doctor said was a markedly elevated titer and refered me to a rheumatologist. Would this mean that I am more likely to have lupus than if the titer were lower? What can I expect from here?
sorry - corrected info
The ANA test result was 1:10240 - Homogenous Pattern. Is this considered very high? Does a very high result mean that something is really wrong? What kind of things will the Rheumatologist do? Sorry for all the questions, I am a little bit frightened by this and don't know what to expect.
The ANA (immunofluorescent antinuclear antibody) test is generally the specific test run for LUPUS because it is positive in virtually all people with SLE and it is the best diagnostic test for the disease. HOWEVER, a positive ANA alone is not diagnostic of lupus and must be used in conjunction with other clinical signs and symptoms of the disease. It may indicate other connective tissue diseases or chronic infectious diseases.
ANA tests include a titer (or strength) of the antibody. The titer indicates how many times your blood must be diluted in order to get a sample which is free of anti-nuclear antibodies. For example, a titer of 1:640 shows a greater concentration of anti-nuclear antibodies than a titer of 1:320. THE TITER IS ALWAYS HIGHEST WITH LUPUS. Patients with active LUPUS have ANA tests that are very high in titer.
Laboratory tests should be run to measure the complement levels in your bood. "Complement" is a blood protien that, with antibodies, destroys bacteria. Therefore, it is an "amplifier" of the function of your immune system. If your blood complement level is low (C3 or C4 complement values are low) and you have a postive ANA with a high titer, then doctors will generally lean towards a diagnosis of LUPUS. In order for a confirmed LUPUS diagnosis, you must display at least four of the following 11 disorders:
1. Malar rash 7. Renal Disorder
2. Discoidal rash 8. Neurologic Disorder
3. Photosensitivity 9. Hemtologic (blood) Disorder
4. Oral Ulcers 10. Immunologic Disorder
5. Arthritis 11. Antinuclear Antibodies
A Rheumatologist is an internal medicine doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as LUPUS, arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles, bones and the immune system. There are more than 100 types of rheumatic diseases that Rheumatologists are highly qualified to treat. They are specially trained to do the detective work in order to diagnose and treat these diseases (especially LUPUS as it s a very difficult disease to diagnose). It is important to determine a correct diagnosis early so that appropriate treatment can begin early. Because Lupus is a complex disease, you may find that that you will have to have several appointments with him/her to determine a correct diagnosis. Also, since the disease changes and evolves over time, your Rheumatologists will work closely with you to identify the problems and to design a treatment program specific to your signs and symptoms. Your Rheumatologist will work with your primary physician and they will consult and advise one another concerning your treatment and diagnosis and to help you cope with the changes that the disease may cause in your life!
I hope that I have been helpful. If you need anything more, please do not hesitate to ask!
Best of Luck, do not worry too much and remember - we are here for you and YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Peace and Blessings