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Re: Test results
Feb 27, 2014
Hi & welcome. ANA stands for antinuclear antibody. It's a "threshold test", meaning one that can suggest the need for further, more specific tests. In & of itself, ANA doesn't diagnose anything. ANA can be positive in a variety of autoimmune conditions, including ones in rheumatology (lupus, RA, Sjogren's, and similar conditions; in endocrinology (Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Addison's, etc.); in gastroenterology (Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac, etc.). Also in certain cancers. Also, due to a passing virus or infection, to a family tendency, or simply due to aging.

1:640 is fairly elevated. It's reported at titers, starting at 1:40, 1:80, 1:160, 1:320, 1:640, 1:1280, etc. (Your lab suggests further tests for anything 1:160 or higher.) The speckled pattern is the most common of the ANA patterns, but it's also the least specific. Pattern is assigned by the lab tech, so it's subjective to some degree (a judgment call). Pattern alone isn't diagnostic of anything.

The additional tests suggested are best performed by a rheumatologist because rheums are most experienced at assessing for lupus & its "close cousins". Also, rheums use specialty labs proficient in performing these tests. (They're difficult to perform & not done by machine the way standard labs are.)

Anti-ds-DNA is a *specific* antibody. If it's found positive at a meaningful level, that would be suggestive of lupus BUT STILL NOT ENOUGH to create a dx. Instead, a larger set of 11 criteria are used to diagnose SLE. You may find them in the "sticky posts" (permanent info posts) located above the user threads. Generally, not always, you must meet at least 4 to sustain a dx of SLE. The criteria may be met cumulatively, meaning over time, rather than simultaneously. Think of checking each off in indelible ink, once met.

ENA's are "extractable nuclear antigens", additional *specific* autoantibodies that may be seen in lupus and/or its "close cousins" (like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, etc.)

I imagine whomever ran the basic ANA test had certain reasons... meaning you've been having some symptoms? Feel free to write about those, too, if you care to. I hope above gives you a head start & that you post again when you can. Glad you found us! Sending warm wishes, sincerely, Vee

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