i had a positive ana test and so the rheum. is doing more bloodwork on me. my history is that my mother had lupus, so naturally i am concerned. I rememberd while at the rheum. that i had tested positive for antiphospholipid so was put on heparin and baby asprin. but after that i have not tested positive for it.
now that i have tested positive for ana, if my antiphospholipid comes back posiitive, then does that mean i have lupus? or it seems to me that antiphospholipd is it's own condition. i'm just confused now!!
Hi Lvarma :lol:
Systemic lupus is very difficult to diagnose because there is no single diagnostic test for lupus. In fact, many people may have positive lupus tests, especially the anti-nuclear antibody test (ANA). Conversely, many people with Antiphospholid antibodies have been diagnosed with other underlying autoimmune disorders.
Doctors must gather information from many different sourrces before they will make a diagnosis. Those sources include:your past medical history, lab tests and your current symptoms. They use a list of 11 criteria to help diagnose SLE. You must fit at least 4 out of the 11 criteria before they will make a diagnosis. The ANA test is used as a screening test for systemic lupus. We know that 95 % of people with SLE have a positive ANA but a positive ANA does not necessarily mean Lupus! The positive ANA is only an indicator; it is not diagnostic. Lupus is characterized by abnormalities in many laboratory test results. These abnormalities are different for every patient and they vary significantly during the course of the patientís disease. All of your laboratory values must be interpreted in light of your present status, other correlating laboratory test results, and your coexisting illnesses. The ANA test simply provides another clue for the doctor to consider in making a diagnosis. In addition, there are blood tests for individual types of autoantibodies that are more specific to people with lupus, although not all people with lupus test positive for these and not all people with these antibodies have lupus. These antibodies include anti-DNA, anti-Sm, anti-RNP, anti-Ro (SSA), and anti-La (SSB). The doctor may use these antibody tests to help make a diagnosis of lupus.More than 95% of people with systemic lupus have a positive ANA. Only a small percentage have a negative ANA, and many of those have other antibodies (such as anti-phospholipid antibodies, anti-Ro, anti-SSA) or their ANA converted from positive to negative from steroids, cytotoxic medications, or uremia (kidney failure).
As with other autoantibodies (antibodies directed against one's self), the antiphospholipid (APL) antibodies can come and go in any individual patient. There are several kinds of antiphospholipid antibodies. The most widely measured are the lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibody. These antibodies react with phospholipid, a type of fat molecule that is part of the normal cell membrane. Lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibody are closely related, but are not the same antibody. This means that someone can have one and not the other. There are other antiphospholipid antibodies, but they are not commonly measured. The presence of both the lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibody is increased in lupus patients who have had thrombotic (blood clotting) complications such as deep venous thrombosis ("thrombophlebitis"), stroke, gangrene, and heart attack. Antiphospholipid antibodies interfere with the normal function of blood vessels, both by causing narrowing and irregularity of the vessel (called "vasculopathy"), and by causing clots in the vessel (called "thrombosis"). These blood vessel problems can then lead to complications such as stroke, heart attack, and miscarriage.
A positive ANA plus the Antiphospholipid antibodies could be an indicator that you might have Lupus, but there are so many other tests and criteria that must be met as you could very well have another autoimmune disorder. As you can see, many Lupus patients with positive ana also have been found to have antiphospholipid antibodies.
I hope that I did not confuse you. Let me know if you need more information or more clarification!
Peace and Blessings
thanks so much for your response. i guess i just have to wait 2 more weeks now to see what else is going on with me...... i had my blood drawn on sat and my next appt is july 5 - i'll probably write then with the results.