Hi Plunk: :lol:
First, let me go over your test results as much as I can.
The ANA test is ordered to help screen for autoimmune disorders and is most often used as one of the tests to diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). ANA tests are performed using different assays (indirect immunofluorescence microscopy or by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbant assay - ELISA) and results are reported as a titer with a particular type of immunofluroscence pattern (when positive). Low-level titers are considered negative, while increased titers, such as 1:1280, are positive and indicate an elevated concentration of antinuclear antibodies. A positive ANA test result may suggest an autoimmune disease, but further specific testing is required to assist in making a final diagnosis. ANA may be ordered along with one or more other autoantibody tests in order to aid doctors in making a diagnosis. Other laboratory tests associated with presence of inflammation, such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and/or C-reactive protein (CRP) may also be ordered. A positive ANA test result may suggest an autoimmune disease, but further specific testing is required to assist in making a final diagnosis.
W.B.C. (white blood cell):
Conditions or medications that weaken the immune system, such as Lupus, HIV infection, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy cause a decrease in white blood cells. The WBC count detects dangerously low numbers of these cells. A WBC count is normally ordered as part of the complete blood count (CBC). This test has no single number that identifies an abnormal result. Your lab report (see a sample report) should include a range of numbers (reference range) that identifies what is expected for you based on your age, sex, and the method used in that laboratory. An elevated number of white blood cells is called leukocytosis. This can result from bacterial infections, inflammation (which is a symptom of Lupus), leukemia, trauma, intense exercise, or stress. A decreased WBC count is called leukopenia. It can result from many different situations, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or diseases of the immune system (such as Lupus). Counts that continue to rise or fall to abnormal levels indicate that the condition is getting worse. Counts that return to normal indicate improvement.
Anti-DNA autoantibodies are the hallmark of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Anti-DNA is an immunoglobulin specific against native (double-stranded) DNA. It is increased in Systemic lupus erythematosus & is highly specific to SLE. Sixty to eighty percent of patients with active SLE have a positive anti-DNA test. Titers of anti-ds-DNA correlate well with disease activity and with occurrence of glomerulonephritis.
A positive test means = In a person with lupus symptoms, a positive test almost always means that lupus is present. However, the test can also be positive in some patients with rare diseases.
IMPORTANT - A negative test means = a negative test DOES NOT mean that lupus is not present.
Negative Sed Rate (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate):
A marker of inflammation, this rate tends to be raised in lupus. Various inflammatory conditions, including autoimmune conditions like Lupus, increase the rate at which the red blood cells (erythrocytes) sink in a test tube and form a sediment.
Sjögren syndrome (SS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are both collagen vascular diseases that can be accompanied by Ro antibodies. anti-nuclear antibodies in patients with systemic rheumatic diseases. These antibodies are found in 60% of patients with Sjögren syndrome, in 30% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, in a majority of patients with subacute cutaneous lupus, and in the neonatal lupus syndrome.
Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) synthesize a number of different immunoglobulins, many of which react with nuclear antigens. Some of these antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) are also found in patients with other connective tissue diseases. Anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies, which are directed against two extractable nuclear antigens, have been found in a large number of patients with Sjögren's syndrome. They also have diagnostic usefulness in patients with SLE. There are two other antibodies directed against extractable nuclear antigens — anti-Sm and anti-RNP antibodies that are also significant in Lupus.
Since patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus can have a wide variety of symptoms and organ involvement, no single test establishes the diagnosis. To help doctors improve the accuracy of the diagnosis of SLE, eleven criteria were established by the American Rheumatism Association. Making a diagnosis of lupus can be difficult. It may take months or even years before a definitive diagnosis is made.No single test can determine whether a person has lupus, but several laboratory tests may help the doctor to make a diagnosis. The most useful tests identify certain autoantibodies often present in the blood of people with lupus. For example, the antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is commonly used to look for autoantibodies that react against components of the nucleus, or "command center," of the body's cells. Most people with lupus test positive for ANA; however, there are a number of other causes of a positive ANA besides lupus, including infections, other autoimmune diseases, and occasionally as a finding in healthy people. 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.
I know that this is a lot of information and that, at times, a bit repetitive. But, I hope that I was able to answer some of your questions. Please let me know if you need anything further
Peace and Blessings
Look For The Good and Praise It!