Hello. A positive ANA does not by itself diagnose systemic lupus (SLE). The diagnosis is instead a combination of clinical & test results. The full criteria are listed on a "sticky post" (permanent info post) at the top of the thread list. To be Dx'ed with SLE, you must meet at least 4 of the 11, at some time in your life, meaning not necessarily simultaneously. Think of each being checked off in indelible ink once it's met.
ANA can be positive in SEVERAL conditions, not just in lupus, e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, myositis, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, etc. Also, it can be positive due to simply a passing virus, or even to a family tendency.
You'll see that only two specific autoantibodies are included: anti-ds-DNA & anti-Sm. There are actually many more POSSIBLE in lupus, but only these two are considered totally unique to lupus, while the others can be seen in multiple conditions. Were the specific tests run for these autoantibodies, too? e.g., for anti-Ro, anti-La, anti-RNP, etc?
A final thought: the criteria apply only to full-blown "classic" lupus = SLE. But there are OTHER kinds (subsets), too, for which you don't have to meet 4criteria. The mildest is discoid lupus (DLE), characterized by scarring skin rashes; you generally meet only a few criteria. The intermediate kind is called subacute cutaneous (SCLE); and in it, you may meet less than 4 or more than 4. While SCLE problems can range across the full SLE spectrum, the odds for the worst problems seen in SLE (CNS & kidney) are believed to be lower in SCLE than in SLE.
This looks like a good place to stop so you can read. I hope you post again soon, when you can. Bye for now. Best wishes, Vee
I recently had a blood test done and the ANA can out positive-very high...but im 19 and so im really young...i have no other signs of lupus-nothing hurts, etc. I dont know if I have lupus but i want to know can the number of ANAs in your body ever reduce????
Does stress and something else cause them to get higher??? Please help!!! thanks!!!!
Jackyeli, Hello & welcome. I'm only a patient (obviously!) & this is only intended to encourage you to ask more questions of your dr. In your shoes, with a very high ANA, I'd ---
1. Ask your dr. if specific autoantibody tests were done, for example, anti-ds-DNA, anti-Sm, anti-Ro, anti-La, Rheumatoid Factor, etc. Hopefully these tests were already done, IN ADDITION TO the ANA test. Why? Because ANA is only a threshhold test, and just by itself, it can't diagnose anything.
Did your dr. say anything at all about high ANA values? I know I've read that it can elevate just due to a passing virus, but I'm not sure high a virus might cause it to go.
I've also read that it can go VERY high, particularly in Sjogren's syndrome &/or in lupus. But I don't know how high it can go in OTHER conditions that typically feature a positive ANA (like RA, scleroderma, myositis, etc.)
Are you taking any meds that can trigger a positive ANA in some people? There's something called drug-induced lupus (DILE), which, unlike classic lupus, tends to resolve when the offending drug is discontinued.
I've also read that lab errors can make ANA appear higher than it really is. In a titer-style test, a boo-boo can actually double the result. In short, labs & procedures vary a lot, so titer-test results are viewed as a little "squishy".
2. Did your dr. order urinalysis? If not, you could ask to have it done, to check for protein in your urine.
I hope you talk more to your dr. & also that others here chip in soon, too. Meanwhile, sending you my best wishes. Vee