What is ANA?

My doctor's office just called me with my lab results ... but it was so confusing to me. She told me some of the panel was negative, such as the rheumatoid parts. But some things came back as "intermediate" so she's ordering 3 other tests. I really don't know what the other tests are, but when I asked what the intermediate stuff was she said "ANA tight". Or maybe just ANA ... like I said, it was confusing.

When I had my last panel done, I had some swelling on my ankle & it was rather sore (no injuries, it's just been hurting off and on for 4 months). At the moment, though, my ankle feels a little better. So she said to hold off on the next test until I'm feeling worse again. If not, then go back next week and do the test.

Any information on what ANA is? This is pretty new to me & I'm trying so hard not to freak out.

It’s just another blood test to check for lupus honey

ANA is a test for antinuclear antibodies -- a basic tool of investigation for auto-immune disorders. There are refinements and "supplemental" tests related to ANA which help to determine which of the possible disorders may be acting.

See "Lab Tests Online" at http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/ana/tab/test/

I am not sure what ANA means, although I too have had very swollen ankles and my Dr office also called and stated some test came back questionalble, when I asked what that meant (as I don't remember any test names) they said the liver test numbers were off, so I had to take another test which came back the same, so they cut my meds in half, ARAVA, and now my some of my symptoms are worse, but I need to take another blood test in a couple weeks and visit my Dr again. I don't know if that is your problem with your blood test, but I thought I would through that posibility in. Good Luck!


This link doesn't work dang it. Would much appreciate similar link from another site.

Thanks David.

Sheila


dkel9307 said:

Hi yabby02

I'd recommend yu hop on Google onto credible medical sites that explain ANA, ANA tests and what the levels means.

Here is a good example for starters:

https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_An...(ANA)/

Kind regards,

David

It sounds like you possibly had a positive "ANA titer"or tested positive for ANA's. The way they do that test is they take a sample of your blood (I'm sure you remember that part ;-) and then they measure the amount of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA's) in that portion of your blood, then they dilute it and measure it again. They continue to do this until there are no more ANA's detectable in the sample. Then, they record the ratio. So, if you get a ratio of say 1:320, this means that for every one part of your blood, 320 parts of a diluting substance were added and ANA's were still detected. That's why the numbers can get so high very quickly. 320x2=640; 640x2=1280; 1280x2=2560, etc.. So, going from one having an ANA titer ratio of 1:320 at one visit and then having a titer of 1:1280 at another visit sounds very alarming but it's really just three dilutions difference in which antibodies were detected. Does that make sense? I know it's all very confusing at first when you are trying to figure out what is going on.

When I was first referred to the rheumatologist by my PCP, I spoke to his nurse who told me I had a positive Rh factor (something seen in people with rheumatoid arthritis). I was only 23 at the time. And she was wrong. And I freaked out. I asked her how in the world could I have arthritis when my joints don't even hurt and I was so young? Turns out that she misread the results. The reason I was being referred was because I had a positive ANA titer. Now I'm 30 and now my joints unfortunately do hurt. You will get it figured out in time. Just try to read about it it when you have spare time.

Dkel, on this one I would defer to a licensed medical practitioner (which I'm not). I'm not knowledgeable concerning the fine details of significance concerning blood tests, and I don't want to mis-advise you. Have you asked the practitioner who had you tested?

Regards, Red

dkel9307 said:

Hi Lawhern

Thanks for this. If the test is negative, does the pattern (e.g. speckled) still have any significance?

Thanks and kind regards

Dkel


Lawhern said:

ANA is a test for antinuclear antibodies -- a basic tool of investigation for auto-immune disorders. There are refinements and "supplemental" tests related to ANA which help to determine which of the possible disorders may be acting.

See "Lab Tests Online" at http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/ana/tab/test/

Alex, yes! I bet that’s what she was talking about…titer… Because it sounded like she said ANA tight.

So I wonder what additional tests she is ordering? I’ve heard that lupus has flareups, and I was feeling pretty miserable last week. But I feel now that I’m starting to feel a little better; A little more energy and less pain. My doctor wants me to go in for these additional tests during a flareup but she said if I don’t have one by the end of the week that they want me to go ahead and do the test anyway. I was kind of surprised because I thought, oh they’ll probably want me to wait… If they seem a little bit more in a hurry is that any cause for concern?

Hi!!! it's okay wanting to know what ANA means, and it is also good that here you will learn alot of thing's that you have not experienced( just yet -smile ). Well the ANA test is to see how active or stable the LUPUS is . Always know that you want a neg. report , because if the ANA's are positive that mean's that the LUPUS is or becoming active and that means that a FLARE is in progress ( which is NO FUN ) . alway's make sure every 3-4 month's that your doctor do the bloodwork test to make sure ( that help's to keep you sane about the FLARE"s and also don't over DO thing's that help's also ). Hope that thing's work out for you and remember that we are always here, talk with you ...Beverly L.

Beverly, my last rheumatologist told me that the ANA titer does not directly correspond with disease activity. For example, mine is always positive and he said it probably always will be. The only difference is that

I don’t know if this will help or not, but will give it a try.

An ANA titer is basically a marker of inflammation going on in your body at the time. Other things besides autoimmunity can cause an elevated ANA. When you have a high titer, the next step is an ANA profile which begins looking at specific antibodies associated with the most common autoimmune diseases. The number resulting from this does NOT necessarily indicate disease activity or how you’re feeling. In fact, patients can even be sero-negative and have disease, even an active flare going on at the time. Sero-negative means that the numbers aren’t high enough to be considered a positive result for the disease.

As an advocate, I always try to encourage patients to get and keep paper copies of all your labwork and imaging. Knowing your numbers can be vital. When you have your results, you can ask questions that pertain to them. Without results, you are depending on someone else to decide what they want to tell you, which is not usually a good thing. Keep your records in a 3 ring binder and bring them with you in a bag when you go to any and all docs appts, for reference. When a test is ordered, before the blood is drawn, write down the name of the tests they want done. Compare this list to the results you receive and your billing. I’ve been shocked at how many times I don’t get what I’m paying for, and how frequently my doc isn’t getting the test results he needs to diagnose and treat me. We went for months even having tests come back with notations that they weren’t done properly, and these notes were missed by staff. The inaccurate result resulted in unnecessary treatment. You will also notice patterns that your health care staff will miss. This can be vital to your treatment. You are the expert of you. Don’t forget too, that the one with the most to lose gets to choose, and this means YOU. you can ask for specific tests and even order them yourself, often at a cheaper price. At our hospital, a group of tests cost over $3000 while at a clinic they were about $300. Had I ordered them myself, they would have been 2/3 of that cost at the time. Paying attention to all this stuff is a full time job, but can sure pay off.

Good luck, and don’t be afraid. Stress can make lupus worse. The fact that you got an intermediate result (meaning positive, but not high enough numbers to be considered strongly positive) can be reassuring. Although the numbers don’t always correspond to disease activity, they often do, and the intermediate result at least means your blood was not swimming with harmful antibodies and inflammation markers at the time. I know that doesn’t mean much, but at least it’s something. At this point, I take every little thing and try to find the positive angle on it. :wink:

Ellen Schnakenberg

Really? Okay my rhemy is always saying that my ANA is stable . I don’t know for sure but am always having good ANA levels without serious flares !! That’s something am really going to read up on now that you are saying this, anyway hope that you are doing okay, talk with you later…Beverly L.

thank you Ellen :)

I went ahead and did my next rounds of tests, so I'm waiting for those results. If it goes like last time, should take about 2 weeks maybe?

I agree with ellen, keep all your medical records especially labs and xrays etc, they are important especially if you see more than one doctor as doctors don't always communicate with one another. good luck to you

Very interesting as I am battling with all the ANA stuff too with my new doc..... Nice to read so much about it.

So I talked to my dr's office today; all the 3 additional tests that she ordered came back negative. I'm still not exactly sure what those 3 tests were, but I was rather expecting negative results b/c when I went in for the test I was feeling relatively good.

She did give me a number on my original ANA titer, it was 7.2

Just noticed I didn’t finish my comment… The only difference is that sometimes it will be higher than others. I know he said it doesn’t correspond with disease activity but I swear it seems to be higher when I am having inflammation (I pay close attention to my results). Although he is right, it is always high enough to be positive, and it has been tested many times in the past 7 years…

wow, I can't believe I was at my dr's office ... it's a 45 min drive on the freeway ... asked them when I got there about getting a copy of my labs; she said check on your way out, we'll get them ready for you. And I just walked out & totally forgot about them!!!

Is extreme scatter-braininess a symptom?? lol

Laugh at yourself , they see it everyday!!!LOL Call on Monday and ask would they mail them , they should understand when you laugh with them on the phone - smile it does happen ... Beverly L.

yabby02 said:

wow, I can't believe I was at my dr's office ... it's a 45 min drive on the freeway ... asked them when I got there about getting a copy of my labs; she said check on your way out, we'll get them ready for you. And I just walked out & totally forgot about them!!!

Is extreme scatter-braininess a symptom?? lol