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A positive ANA

Hello - this is my first post here.

I was diagnosed with Hughes Syndrome in April. The blood tests also indicated a positive ANA. My Consultant wanted me to be seen at St Thomas' for the Hughes but said the positive ANA "was nothing". St T's also found that I have Pernicious Anaemia so life long B12 jabs have started and they said the positive ANA showed I am "weakly positive " for lupus. As I have a lot of SLE symptoms they have suggested Plaquenil - though this won't start til Jan when I see my consultant up here. No ENA antibodies show up though my dentist says my mouth shows symptoms similar to her Sjogren's patients.

So I want to ask if you know what a positive ANA shows, please?


4 Replies

Welcome to the club, literally. I have had lupus for 8years (diagnosed) I have only ever had 3 positive ana tests. There are many lupus patients that have never had a positive Ana. Prof graham Hughes ( Google him), backs this. I have just finished another 6 week iron infusion so sympathise with anaemia probs. perhaps one day they will find a better and accurate way to diagnose. This is why we are left years before we are taken seriously.


A positive ANA is suggestive of an autoimmune disease although many healthy people have a positive ANA. It is really an indicator to investigate further as tied in with other positives it csn point to lupus or other AI diseases c


ANA stands for Anti-Nuclear Antibody. This test detects a group of antibodies directed against components of the nucleus of the cell, such as DNA and ribonucleoproteins (RNP). The individual antibodies include anti-DNA antibodies and the various anti-ENA antibodies. The ANA test is used as a screening test for these auto-antibodies which may then be identified individually by other tests. The ANA test is positive in 95% of people with lupus but only about 5% of healthy people. It can also be positive in people with related autoimmune conditions (sometimes called connective tissue diseases) such as dermatomyositis, polymyositis, and systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). It is sometimes positive in people with other types of disease such as chronic infection or certain malignancies (cancers). It is therefore not diagnostic of lupus, but is important in supporting evidence when other features (symptoms, signs and other laboratory tests) suggest lupus.

The above is taken from our factsheet, 'Lupus: The Symptoms and Diagnosis'. If you want to read more about the tests involved in diagnosis you can read it here -


Thank you all for answering my question :)



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