Re: difference between anti-ro and ana?
Hi, Michelle. The following is only how I understand these things. I'm just a patient, though, so this is only for what it's worth...
Anti-Ro is seen in BOTH SCLE-type lupus AND Sjogren's. (But I also think you maybe can be Dx'ed with *SLE* with this antibody, if you meet the most severe of the SLE criteria.)
It's really the totality of your symptoms & other test results that indicate to a rheumie which, Sjogren's or lupus, you have. Or you can have BOTH.
ANA is only a "threshhold" test that can be positive in various autoimmunes, due to a family tendency, due to a pssing virus, etc. In & of itself, it doesn't say a tremendous lot, though I bet if it were "horribly" high, that would inspire a dr. to really search very hard for answers.
As for ANA in SCLE: I was told it's *positive* about 2/3 or so of the time, meaning it's negative about 1/3 of the time. So having a negative ANA & a positive anti-Ro may *doesn't* mean you are in the clear for lupus.
But I also had SCLE-type rashes, so skin biopsy results were a big part of the Dx for me.
For Sjogren's, there are additional specific tests such as dry Schirmers & Rose Bengal corneal. But the most accurate, I think I read, is lip biopsy.
My suburban drs. (multiple rheumies & dermies) had never seen SCLE, I suspect---vs. my city drs., who sized me up in, oh, about 2 minutes each. So it would be really good for you, if your anti-Ro is positive, if you knew that your rheumie had seen/treated both SCLE & Sjogren's, alone or together.
There is no one test that rules out all lupus, is my understanding. I think this is where symptoms over time add/subtract to the diagnostic process, and additional testing as warranted, also.
I wonder if Sjogren's is treated with the same meds as non-organ-threatening lupus, whether Plaquenil is the DOC for both? That maybe would be a question to ask.
I really hope this makes sense. Please give a yell if it doesn't, OK? Otherwise, good luck with your upcoming rheumie appt! Sincerely, Vee