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Old 05-27-2009, 12:16 PM   #1
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New Here...What does test result mean?

I'm scheduled to see a new doctor and he had ordered some labs to have done prior to our visit. I got a copy of the labs and saw this result was circled. I didn't even know what this test was, but found out it's used to dx lupus.

My Anti-Nuclear AB Titer came back 1:320. Our lab's reference ranges show less than 1:40 is negative; 1:40 - 1:80 is low AB level and greater than 1:80 is elevated antibody level. The ANA pattern was speckled.

Can anyone tell me what this means? Thanks so much for any input.

 
Old 05-27-2009, 01:55 PM   #2
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Re: New Here...What does test result mean?

Luv2Travel, hi & welcome! Unfortunately, there is no single test for lupus. ANA is actually best viewed as only a "threshold" test that---if other symptoms & findings are present---spurs a doctor to order additional, more specific tests; take your complete lifetime medical history; look for anomalies on standard bloodwork; etc.

Trickily, ANA is positive in quite a number of diseases, e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, polymyositis, scleroderma, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Addisons, vitiligo, psoriasis, certain kinds of hepatitis, ETC. And it can be positive due things that aren't chronic diseases, like aging, a passing virus, or a family tendency.

BUT there is info right here that can help. Look for the "sticky posts" ( = permanent informational posts) at the top of the thread list. One contains the diagnostic criteria for systemic lupus (also common symptoms, I think). To support a Dx of systemic lupus, typically you need to meet 4 (or more) of the 11 listed at some time, meaning not necessarily all at once. (FYI, there are also lesser forms, sometimes called "subsets", for which you may meet fewer than 4.) As soon as you read the "stickies", post more, OK? You'll no doubt have new thoughts & questions coming to mind as you read. Bye for now, with best wishes, Vee

 
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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Re: New Here...What does test result mean?

Thanks, VeeJ. I'll keep reading. So much information for my foggy brain! I'm also hypothyroid, and at first I thought I was looking at the results for thyroid antibodies. I'll be glad when I can see this doctor and have him explain everything to me, but my appointment isn't until July. Thanks again!

 
Old 05-28-2009, 04:21 AM   #4
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Re: New Here...What does test result mean?

Luv2Travel, I've read about one kind of hypothyroidism that can elevate ANA = Hashimoto's. But there may be more (sorry, but am only a dumb patient!).

Hypothyroidism can occur on its own or in conjunction with other conditions. So I hope your new dr. takes a "wide look" at you, meaning NOT immediately narrow you down to someone with ONLY hypothyroidism. A new dr. should re-evaluate everything, confirm what's "known" so far, and look for anything else that fits your history, symptoms, and test results. Before your July appt., you could make a list of your lifetime medical history, then take it with you, so you don't forget anything the day you're there.

Let us know how you're doing, OK? Meanwhile, best wishes, Vee

 
Old 05-28-2009, 06:45 AM   #5
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Re: New Here...What does test result mean?

Hi Vee. I've read about Hashi's as a possibility, but don't know enough about it. My thyroid antibodies came back negative and those are usually associated with Hashi's, but I understand it can be tricky to dx. (By the way, you don't sound like a dumb patient, but a very well-informed one.)

Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing the new doctor. His practice is based on helping people with particular issues and he's not meant to replace one's primary care doctor. However, I had a horrible visit with my family doctor yesterday and ended up in tears once I left. I tried to share the lab work ordered by the new doctor and I think my family doctor was offended. I think I need to shop around for a new family doc!

The visit with my new doc is for 1-1/2 hours and I have to fill out an extensive medical history and questionnaire and bring copies of lab work and office visit records for at least the past 18 months. He called me once on the phone so he could get an idea what blood work I might need prior to my visit. He was so nice and caring on the phone, so I'm encouraged by that! Sorry for babbling, but I appreciate your input!

 
Old 05-28-2009, 08:29 AM   #6
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Re: New Here...What does test result mean?

Hi. You're not babbling! I think it's an excellent sign that your new dr. has you gathering/sending info prior to appt, so he can cut to the chase. But don't be dismayed if he calls for tests to be redone: some specialists simply prefer to use only their own trusted labs.

Sorry to read about your family doc's reaction... I found same. Often. For all the arrogance one encounters in drs., one also encounters VERY thin skin. Odd...as though they think we've arrived to insult them, as opposed to just wanting to get our lives back on track!

My breakthrough appt. was shocking in its simplicity. Not just the procedural stuff, but the way the rheumie instantly analyzed the same history I'd (fruitlessly) presented to umpteen drs. over multiple decades. Here's hoping you find all that & more! Stay in touch with us, OK? Sending all my best, Vee

 
Old 05-28-2009, 05:56 PM   #7
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Re: New Here...What does test result mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeJ View Post
Sorry to read about your family doc's reaction... I found same. Often. For all the arrogance one encounters in drs., one also encounters VERY thin skin. Odd...as though they think we've arrived to insult them, as opposed to just wanting to get our lives back on track!
Vee, that last line made me chuckle! Thanks for the laugh. And to think, we even pay to insult them.

I'm glad that you were able to finally find a good doctor. The new doctor actually did ask me to go to a specific lab that he likes and luckily it is one that our insurance covers.

I did think of a question. With my ANA Titer 1:320, is a false positive possible/likely?

Thanks much!!

 
Old 05-28-2009, 06:14 PM   #8
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Re: New Here...What does test result mean?

Luv2Travel, I don't know how anyone could know if a low-positive ANA is "false" or not. Presumably in a titer test, errors could occur in either direction (up or down). Certainly I've read that thryoid symptoms can overlap w/lupus symptoms, and with symptoms for other conditions as well. So main thing is probably how you're feeling & what you're doing about it. Best scenario for next step? Why that would be smart dr. + smart patient (that's YOU!). I think you're on a good course of action.

How ARE you feeling, by the way? Any worse or different than when you first knew you were hypothyroid? Are you taking a med for that? Hang tough! Bye for now, V.

Last edited by VeeJ; 05-28-2009 at 06:15 PM. Reason: omitted word

 
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