An Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) test measures the antinuclear antibodies present in the blood. Antibodies are proteins produced by our immune system to fight against foreign substances such as bacterias and viruses. Antinuclear antibodies are also produced by our immune system that attacks and destroys the body’s normal tissues. They target the nucleus of the cells and hence called antinuclear antibodies. The presence of high levels of ANA may indicate an autoimmune disease.
Why this test is performed?
This test is one among many primary tests performed to detect or diagnose the presence of autoimmune disorders. Your doctor may ask you to perform this test if he suspects autoimmune disorders such as Systemic lupus erythematosus (a chronic inflammatory disease that affects many parts of the body), Scleroderma (a rare disease that causes hard and thickened skin, joints etc), Rheumatoid arthritis (a condition that affects the joints), Sjogren’s syndrome (a condition affecting the body’s moisture making glands resulting in dry eyes and dry mouth), Juvenile arthritis (joint disorder in children) etc. You may also be advised to perform this test if you experience symptoms of autoimmune disorders such as fatigue, fever, muscle pain, red butterfly-shaped rash, pain, and swelling in joints etc. This test helps to detect the presence of an autoimmune disorder but does not diagnose the exact disease. Your doctor may ask you to perform a few more additional tests to identify the type of autoimmune disorder.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your ANA Immunofluorescence. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for ANA Immunofluorescence.
No specific preparation is required for this test.
If the ANA test results are positive it indicates the presence of antinuclear antibodies in the blood. A positive result can be seen in individuals with systemic lupus erythematosus, or with any type of autoimmune disorders. A positive ANA test result does not clearly confirm that you have an autoimmune disorder. Your doctor may ask you to perform a few more additional tests to diagnose an autoimmune disorder. Many healthy individuals may also have antinuclear antibodies in their blood. Women older than 65 may also show positive ANA test without any disease. Some infections, autoimmune hepatitis, cancer or use of certain medicines may give a positive ANA test. Based on your test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.
|OTHER||All age groups||Normally, the test for antibodies is negative. A positive result is observed in case of a condition|