I recently got a positive ana result and am waiting to see the rheumotolgist.
I see that some people have a number like 80 associated with their positive ana test. I didn't see number with mine - just a "positive" with a titer=1:320 and homogenous. Should they have given me a number?
Your test sound right to me (but I am certainly not an expert at this... I hardly pay attention to my blood test results).
My ana changes all the time (depending on the flare timing) but mine is speckled pattern... I know that much. For some reason that stuck in my mind.
I wouldn't worry about any of this, and wait until you see the rheumy.
But--put together a list of questions... that's important I always forget what I wanted to ask/say... and then on the way home from the doc, I slap my forehead and say "D'Oh!"... LOL!!
thanks so much for your reply -i really appreciate - i'm going to try to stop freaking out until I get something more definitive!
My ANA came back 1:320 as well. That is how the results are given. My doc said normal is 1:40, so 1:320 is pretty high. Good luck with the Rheumy.
So is a high or low ana good?
I wasn't given a number by my dr but was told with both of my ana's that they were high and it was caused from the lupus
From what I understand, the higher the number, the more active the Lupus is... but compare your numbers only to your numbers--other people have different ranges than you. (Hence why some people can have very active Lupus and low or nonexistent ana's.)
My ANA went from 1:320 to 1:1180 my Dr. said this was significantly high, oddly though all my other lab test are normal. But he said there is a certain gene and I may have it that in my case would cause all lab tests to turn out normal and he said sometimes it takes awile for your lab to catch up with your symptoms.
To perform the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test, sometimes called FANA (fluorescent antinuclear antibody test), a blood sample is drawn from the patient and sent to the lab for testing. Serum from the patient's blood specimen is added to microscope slides which have commerically prepared cells on the slide surface. If the patient's serum contains antinuclear antibodies (ANA), they bind to the cells (specifically the nuclei of the cells) on the slide.
A second antibody, commercially tagged with a fluorescent dye, is added to the mix of patient's serum and commercially prepared cells on the slide. The second (fluorescent) antibody attaches to the serum antibodies and cells which have bound together. When viewed under an ultraviolet microscope, antinuclear antibodies appear as fluorescent cells:
* If fluorescent cells are observed, the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test is considered positive.
* If fluorescent cells are not observed, the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test is considered negative.
A titer is determined by repeating the positive test with serial dilutions until the test yields a negative result. The last dilution which yields a positive result (flourescence) is the titer which gets reported. For example, if a titer performed for a positive ANA test is:
An ANA report has three parts: 1) positive or negative 2) if positive, a titer is determined and reported 3) the pattern of flourescence is reported
ANA titers and patterns can vary between laboratory testing sites, perhaps because of variation in methodology used. These are the commonly recognized patterns:
* Homogeneous - total nuclear fluorescence due to antibody directed against nucleoprotein. Common in SLE (lupus).
* Peripheral - fluorescence occurs at edges of nucleus in a shaggy appearance. Anti-DNA antibodies cause this pattern. Also common in SLE (lupus).
* Speckled - results from antibody directed against different nuclear antigens.
* Nucleolar - results from antibody directed against a specific RNA configuration of the nucleolus or antibody specific for proteins necessary for maturation of nucleolar RNA. Seen in patients with systemic sclerosis.
ANAs are found in patients who have various autoimmune diseases, including Lupus, but not only autoimmune diseases. ANAs can be found also in patients with infections, cancer, lung diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, hormonal diseases, blood diseases, skin diseases, and in elderly people or people with a family history of rheumatic disease. ANAs are actually found in about 5% of the normal population.
The ANA results are just one factor in diagnosing, and must be considered together with the patient's clinical symptoms and other diagnostic tests. Medical history also plays a role because some prescription drugs can cause "drug-induced ANAs".
I hope that this has been helpul and has answered some of your questions. Let me know if you need anything further!
Peace and Blessings