Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA)

Clinical definition of the Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA) test
Antinuclear antibodies are a group of autoantibodies that have the ability to attack structures in the nucleus of cells such as the DNA, histone proteins, and chromatin. The ANA test may be performed along with one or more other autoantibody tests to diagnose the cause of certain autoimmune diseases such as SLE, Rheumatoid arthritis, Polymyositis, Scleroderma and Sjögren's syndrome.

Why is the Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA) test done?
The ANA test helps to diagnosis and measure the pattern as well as the amount of antinuclear antibodies which is common in people who are suspected to have an autoimmune or connective tissue disorder.

What are the common signs/symptoms when the Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA) test is done?
Patients with autoimmune disorders may have a wide variety of symptoms such as:

  • Low-grade fever
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained rashes that may change over time

Who should do the Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA) test (Target population)?
People who suffer from the above symptoms or as a diagnostic tool for those suspected to have an auto-immune disease.

What should I do before the Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA) test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions during specimen collection*

Serum (Blood Sample)

Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA) test results?

Reference

Interval

< 1:10 IU /ml

Negative

1.0 – 1.2 IU /ml

Equivocal

> 1.2 IU /ml

Positive

Inference: The presence of higher titers of ANA are indicative of an autoimmune disease.
‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Diseases/condition related to the Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA) test

  • People with the following disorders or characteristics may have positive ANA tests:
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Scleroderma
  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Polymyositis/dermatomyositis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatoid vasculitis
  • Sjögren's syndrome
  • Drug-induced lupus
  • Discoid lupus
  • Pauciarticular juvenile chronic arthritis
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Non-rheumatological conditions associated with tissue damage.
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Addison disease
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
  • Hashimoto's disease
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Type I diabetes mellitus
  • Mixed connective tissue disorder

Other tests related to the Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA) test

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) 
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) 
  • Anti Microsomal Antibody (AMA)
  • Rheumatoid Factor (RF)
  • Cardiolipin autoantibodies
  • Anti-neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody (ANCA)
  • Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies (ENA Panel)

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Anti-Nuclear Antibody (ANA)by EIA, serum

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