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need help with lab results!

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Old 06-12-2007, 06:11 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: whitehouse station, nj . usa
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lvarma HB User
need help with lab results!

Hi Everyone,
This is my first time posting here - my mother had lupus and every year I also get tested (I'm 35). I just got back my results, and they are as follow:
RDW=15.1 (the normal range is 11-15)

I have an appt on the 21st with a rheumotologist, but am of course anxious. I don't understand what the RDW result could mean in terms of a lupus diagnosis. Also, can my pattern be homogenous if I have lupus? I'm pretty sure that I will be diagnosed with it, as my mother had it, but just wondering if there is any chance that I might not have it???

thanks all,

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Old 06-12-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
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laura3377 HB User
Re: need help with lab results!

I can tell you your ANA is elevated enough to suggest something is going on. I haven't been diagnosed with Lupus but I also had an ANA of 1:320 - mine was Speckled pattern. This is the only test I have had come back positive besides an Anti-SSA so Dr.'s really aren't sure what is going on as my symptoms aren't enough to diagnose me with anything. Anyhow, the RDW is elevated a lot of times with iron deficiency so you may want to get checked for this.

Old 06-12-2007, 12:14 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2007
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lvarma HB User
Re: need help with lab results!

thanks so much for your response.

Old 06-13-2007, 02:20 AM   #4
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Re: need help with lab results!

Hi, Ivarma. ANA can actually be positive in multiple diseases conditions, such as lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, rheumaroid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, chronic liver disease, certain infectious diseases like mono, and even in drug-induced lupus caused by a few particular drugs. It's also positive sometimes due solely to a passing virus, or to a family tendency. That said, in your shoes, given your mom's history, I'd definitely want further testing, including for lupus. I hope you post more when the mood strikes. Good luck with your appt. on the 21st. Sending you my best wishes, Vee

Old 06-13-2007, 02:47 AM   #5
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Re: need help with lab results!

LAURA3377, I just saw your post, in which you said you've tested positive for anti-SSA (anti-Ro). I did, too. And, boy, did that ever cause a LOT of confusion to my suburban doctors & to me. In a nutshell, my local drs. had apparently never heard of the intermediate "subset" of SLE called SCLE, which stands for subacute cutaneous LE.

The SCLE "subset" was first described in the late 1970's. It's thought to fall somewhere between DLE and SLE in severity. While many people with SCLE fulfill 4 or more of the "4 of 11" criteria for SLE, these tend to be the less severe ones, meaning the odds of kidney & CNS problems are present but are thought to be lower than in SLE. But because the full range of problems seen in SLE are possible in this SCLE "subset", it requires treatment & follow-up.

I had literally decades years of episodic problems, some quite serious but many not. The one thing I finally "did" that could be nothing except lupus: photosensitive nonscarring & nondepigmenting annular (targetlike) rashes, on my upper arms & back, found to be a lupus rash when biopsied.

The rashes provides the final key to answers, but they were really the least of my worries (didn't hurt, didn't itch, didn't scar). In the decade before Dx, I became anemic. Prior, I'd had a wide variety of problems, many recurrent, such as pneumonia, encephalitis, widespread blistery rashes, migraines, sciatica, weight loss, hair loss, irritable bowel (severe), irritable bladder, urinary stones, UTI's, conjunctivitis, joint & shin pain (frequent), elevated sed rate, abnormal WBC, low-grade fevers, etc. I was a mystery & a burden, to all who know me, including myself!

To my horror, my local drs. had no answers, so I took myself to a teaching hospital rheumatologist. More tests (bloodwork, urinalysis, one last skin biopsy) confirmed the Dx of SCLE. Weirdly, my ANA remained negative, which I was told happens perhaps 1/3 of the time in SCLE. (Why? It's thought that anti-Ro can "mask" the ANA result in some patients.) But I was NOT diagnosed with Sjogren's. And Plaquenil has helped me tremendously; also, strict sun precautions.

If anything here rings any bells with you, I hope you post more. In any event, I send you my best wishes. Hang in there! Sincerely, Vee

Last edited by VeeJ; 06-13-2007 at 02:49 AM. Reason: spelling

Old 06-17-2007, 09:42 PM   #6
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yorkieloveroo7 HB User
Re: need help with lab results!

hi, i have been ana positive for about eight years now with no symptoms until last year. my titer is 640 which is somewhat high, i went to a rheumo last summer and they tested me for everything and it was negative. These last few months though i am experience more pain in my joints and my knuckles on my hands, especialy my right hand are getting huge and its evident there is arthritis, my wrist hurts alot too, i already have pain in my lower back so i don't know if thats related or not. So they are running more tests, i hope they are negative too but with the way i feel, i doubt it. Lupus does not run in my family. i am 42. Cathy

Old 06-19-2007, 04:28 PM   #7
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: California
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lydia21 HB User
Post Re: need help with lab results!

Can you receive a false positive on your ANA results? i am currently being tested for Lupus. My cousin has it and she has had kidney problems, leasions on her brain, and just hearing the results that it may be lupus, well freaked me out. the doctor's said that it doesn't mean that i have it or what will come of it...but i just want to know if you can receive a false positive on the ANA test?

i go in hopefully on thursday for a complete blood work and such but won't hear the results til july 10th! i am 21(tomorrow...what a way to kick off your birthday huh?)

Old 06-19-2007, 04:49 PM   #8
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goldenwings HB User
Re: need help with lab results!

Hello lydia,

Happy 21st birthday to you for tomorrow. I hope you have a wonderful day.

The thing is please do not worry that "if" you do eventually get a diagnosis of lupus that you will definitely be affected the same way as your cousin. There are different types of lupus, as our Veej has already said and they affect people in very different ways. No two people will have the exact same symptoms, even day to day the symptoms change for some people and blood tests can vary from time to time for the same people.

The false positive result is a test or procedure result indicating a positive or abnormal result when, in fact, no abnormal condition is actually present. A specific test has a low false-positive rate. A non-specific test has a high false-positive rate and should not be relied upon to suspect or diagnose an abnormality or disease.

I know this is a difficult time for you, but please keep on coming back here with your questions and we will be only too glad to help all we can. We also offer lots of emotional support, which I personally think is very important for lupus patients.

Have a great birthday and hope to speak to you soon.

I am not a medical doctor, I only speak from my own experience of the illnesses I discuss here.

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