ANA profile is basically a follow-up testing for specific antibodies (anti-nDNA, anti-Sm, anti-RNP, anti-La/SS-B) in sera found to contain antinuclear antibodies (Positive ANA). This follow-up testing is done to avoid unnecessary specific antibody testing on negative or low-titer sera. The test simultaneously performs ANA screening and reflex testing for nine specific auto-antibodies (SSA, SSB, Sm, RNP, Scl-70, Jo-1, dsDNA, Centromere B and Histone) in a single test. In this way, a specimen can be analyzed for all significant ANA markers simultaneously in one assay. The process may be used as an aid in the diagnosis of patients with various autoimmune diseases and connective tissue disorders, such as Lupus, mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), Sjögren's syndrome, CREST syndrome and myositis.
ANA profile test is sometimes performed along with ANA in patients with a high index (high titer positive ANA) of suspicion for an autoimmune disorder. Many things can cause a positive ANA and can occur in several rheumatic diseases, chronic inflammatory diseases, malignancies, and can be caused by certain drugs. So, if your titer was high, then the profile is performed in order to help doctors determine if you may be suffering from an auto-immune disorder. If you have a positive ANA but a negative profile, doctors may start looking for other reasons for the positive ANA and/or run further tests to determine if an auto-immune disorder is present.
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