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Old 10-09-2012, 03:31 AM   #2
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Re: Results of ANA Test, newbie need help

Vryfunny, hi & welcome! Could you clarify something? In your list, was everything boldfaced, as if to indicate *all* were outside their reference ranges---or was only ANA?

Either way, I think we can get you started on your ANA question. ANA by itself can't diagnose anything, for several reasons. First off, it may positive in multiple conditions within rheumatology, like lupus, RA, the myositises, etc.; and it can also be positive in conditions in other specialities.

Also, ANA may be weakly positive due only to a passing infection or virus, or even to a family tendency. Here's some perspective on your value. ANA is a titer test, in which controlled amounts of a test substance are added to your sample, one batch at a time, until the sample no longer fluoresces. The last number at which fluorescence is visible is your reading. The series starts at 1:40, then goes 1:80, 1:160, 1:320, 1:640, etc. This means 1:40 is the lowest possible reading, not terribly significant at the time the test was taken. *But* ANA can rise & fall in some conditions, as disease flares come & go. i.e., a low reading doesn't mean you should quit trying to figure this out!

But your rash could be meaningful right now. What does it look & feel like? Have you seen a dermatologist? Had it biopsied? Do you correlate it to anything, like sun, for example? There are number of lupus-specific rashes, so it would be very meaningful *if* this rash were proven to be a *lupus* rash. That would mean you have lupus to some degree, perhaps only "cutaneous" as opposed to "systemic". You can envision the dividing line between cutaneous and systemic lupus by reading the "sticky posts" (permanent info posts) at the top of the thread list. Generally speaking, if a person meets 4 or more criteria, not necessarly simultaneously (it can happen over time), that person will probably be diagnosed with SLE = systemic lupus.

Hope this helps & that you write more, and that others chip in. Personally I'd love to hear more about your rash. Mine flummoxed my local specialists for years, and I was really honked to finally learn it was a less-common lupus-specific rash. It seems my local drs. had only heard of "discoid" and "malar", and there are at least a dozen more. Sending warm wishes, bye, Vee

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vryfunnygal (10-09-2012)