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Thread: ANA result

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Default ANA result

    hi i phoned my doctors today for test results. Thay think i may have lupus but i am waiting to see a rheumy. The ANA result was positive (80). Was just wondering if this was high or not? The docotr didnt go into detail! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Victorville, California
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    Hi Caroline24;
    The ANA test is positive in virtually all people with systemic lupus. However, the ANA is only a test and a positive ANA by itself doesn't necessarily equate having Lupus. Because many lupus symptoms mimic other illnesses, are sometimes vague and may come and go, lupus can be difficult to diagnose. Currently, there is no single laboratory test that can determine whether a person has lupus or not. The American College of Rheumatology issued a list of 11 symptoms or signs that help distinguish lupus from other diseases (This has recently been revised). A person should have four or more of these symptoms to suspect lupus AND the symptoms do not all have to occur at the same time.
    The Eleven Criteria Used for the Diagnosis of Lupus are:
    Malar Rash: Rash over the cheeks
    Discoid Rash: Red raised patches
    Photosensitivity: Reaction to sunlight, resulting in the development of or increase in skin rash
    Oral Ulcers: Ulcers in the nose or mouth, usually painless
    Arthritis: Nonerosive arthritis involving two or more peripheral joints (arthritis in which the bones around the joints do not become destroyed)
    Serositis: Pleuritis or pericarditis (inflammation of the lining of the lung or heart)
    Renal Disorder: Excessive protein in the urine (greater than 0.5 gm/day or 3+ on test sticks) and/or cellular casts (abnormal elements the urine, derived from red and/or white cells and/or kidney tubule cells)
    Neurologic Disorder: Seizures (convulsions) and/or psychosis in the absence of drugs or metabolic disturbances which are known to cause such effects
    Hematologic Disorder: Hemolytic anemia or leukopenia (white blood count below 4,000 cells per cubic millimeter) or lymphopenia (less than 1,500 lymphocytes per cubic millimeter) or thrombocytopenia (less than 100,000 platelets per cubic millimeter). The leukopenia and lymphopenia must be detected on two or more occasions. The thrombocytopenia must be detected in the absence of drugs known to induce it.
    Antinuclear Antibody (ANA): Positive test for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in the absence of drugs known to induce it.
    Immunologic Disorder: Positive anti-double stranded anti-DNA test, positive anti-Sm test, positive antiphospholipid antibody such as anticardiolipin, or false positive syphilis test (VDRL).

    ANA test reports include a titer (or strength) of the antibody. The titer indicates how many times an individual's blood must be diluted to get a sample free of anti-nuclear antibodies. Thus, a titer of 1:640 shows a greater concentration of anti-nuclear antibodies than a titer of 1:320 or 1:160. A high titer of this antibody (greater than 1:1280) is usually associated with rheumatic disease but has nothing to do with how active a person's lupus is. Therefore, it is not necessary to repeat the ANA in someone who has lupus. Other blood tests (complement factors C3 and C4, anti-DNA, the complete blood count, and urinalysis) are the best laboratory index of lupus activity.
    Complement is a blood protein that, with antibodies, destroys bacteria. It is an "amplifier" of immune function. If the total blood complement level is low, or the C3 or C4 complement values are low, and the person also has a positive ANA, some weight is added to the diagnosis of lupus. Low C3 and C4 complement levels in individuals with positive ANA test results may also be indicative of lupus kidney disease.
    If an individual has signs and symptoms supporting the diagnosis of lupus (e.g., at least four of the American College of Rheumatology criteria), including a positive ANA, the diagnosis is confirmed and no further testing is necessary.
    If a person has only two or three of the criteria, including a positive ANA, then the ANA supports but does not confirm the diagnosis. In these cases, unless more specific tests are positive (e.g., anti-DNA, anti-Sm, anti-Ro) the diagnosis of lupus is uncertain until more symptoms develop or other more specific blood tests, as cited above, become positive.

    I hope that this has anwered your question. Please let me know if you need more information :lol:

    Peace and Blessings

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Caroline

    Different labs may have different "ranges" for what they consider a positive ANA test - some consider anything above 1:40 positive - others consider 1:80 to be the cut-off point. But most rheumatologists would consider an ANA of 1:80 to be weakly positive and not a "high" ANA. But there are many reasons for a person to have a positive ANA result - and most people who have a positive ANA don't have lupus. Many women have a positive ANA with no underlying disease, especially if you have a close relative who does have an autoimmune disorder. An ANA test can also be positive because of infection, a viral illness, some medications, and other auto-immune illnesses. So your doctor has to look at the pattern of your symptoms, and your other lab tests. The ANA by itself does not give your doctor enough information to make a diagnosis. Lupus is a complex disease and it can be hard to diagnose. So you probably want to wait to see what the rheumie has to say before you get too stressed out over the results of this one test. Hopefully you will be able to see the specialist without having to wait too long!

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