In the test sheet I was given, it showed that my ANA was 320 in a Rim pattern. It went on to list diseases associated with the 4 different types of patterns. It showed Rim pattern as exclusive to SLE. I haven't met with the doctor yet and have a lot of questions... Does anyone know if you canhave the Rim pattern with an elevated ANA and not have Lupus?
Here is what I found out:
ANA stands for Antinuclear Antibody, which means "substance against the cell nucleus". The nucleus is the "headquarters" of the living cell, therefore the ANA can damage or destroy cells and tissues. 95% -98% of patients with SLE will have a positive ANA test, but the majority of people with a positive ANA test do not have SLE. A positive ANA test can be found in many other conditions, like Sjogren's Syndrome, Sclerodera, Rheumatoid Arthritis and other mixed connective tissue diseases. Many normal healthy people will also have a positive ANA test. Therefore, a positive ANA test, on its own, does not mean that a person has LUPUS.
Because of this, your doctor must look, very carefully, at the titer (the number) and the pattern of the ANA test. The titer shows how many times the technician had to mix fluid from your blood in order to get a sample that is free of ANAs. THus, a titer of 1:640 shows a greater concentration of ANA than a titer of 1:320 or 1:160, since it took 640 dilutions of the plasma before ANA was no longer detected. the apparent great difference between various titers can be misleading. Since each dilution involves doubling the amount of test fluid, it is not surprising that titers increase rapidly.
ANA titers go up and downduring the course of the disease and may or may not reflect disease activity. Therefore, it is not always possible to tell from the titer how severe a person's LUPUS is. A titer of 1:80 or lowere is usually considered negative.
The Pattern of the ANA is studied by microscope. The technician examines a specially prepared slide that shows where the antibodies attack the nucleus. Certain antibodies attack certain areas of the nucleus, producing four (4) specific patterns. The rim (peripheral) pattern is THE MOST SPECIFIC PATTERN FOR LUPUS, while the homogeneous (diffuse) pattern is the most common pattern seen. The remaining patterns are the speckled and nucleolar patterns. In some cases, the pattern helps the doctor decide which of the autoimmune disease is causing the problem and which treatment program is approprate.
Because a positive ANA test can be f ound in other diseases as well as SLE, your doctor will use a positive ANA test as only one of the factors in determining whether or not you have LUPUS. A positive ANA test with a specific Rim pattern for lupus might, indeed, indicate a positive diagnosis for LUPUS. However, there are other clinical features that your doctor will look for, such as the butterfly rash, arthritis, pleurisy, blood abnormalities, kidney disease etc. Once you have a positive ANA, your doctor will want to investigate which antigen in the nucleus is responsible for the positive ANA. This test can be helpful in determining if you do indeed have LUPUS!
I hope that I have been helpful :lol:
Keep us posted about the results of your tests!
Peace and Blessings