Is a high ANA meaningful on it's own, or is it only useful if you have other high markers on other autoimmune tests?

I have an ANA of 1:2560, does that just mean I have a high level of autoimmune inflammation? This was done by my doctor and she is referring me to a rheumatologist for further tests. I am just wondering if that means something useful on it's own or if I have to have loads more tests to get more specific information.

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  • Hi TS

    ANA is usually a marker for disease activity. Have you been diagnosed with any conditions? In my case it means that my lupus is active. But ANA can be raised in other conditions like APS etc.

    Hope this helps a bit

    Lupie hugs esky x

  • Hi TeganSara,

    The ANA test is positive in about 95% of people with lupus. 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 positive in about 5% of healthy people. It's not diagnostic of lupus, but it is important supporting evidence when other features (symptoms, signs and other laboratory tests) suggest lupus.

    If you'd like one of our free information packs to learn more about the diagnosis of lupus, please let me know. You can send me a private message on here or email paul@lupusuk.org.uk with your name and address.

  • hi, can you please explain to me , my tests came back as positive DNA and titre of 1:640, with a centromere pattern also double stranded mildly positive, don't have the letter in front of me now but this is the jist of it, I thought it was a test for lupus but now being told it is a test for connective tissue disease, can you please explain the difference, I have tried reading up on it but would understand better if it was explained as im just not taking it in at the moment, hope this is ok, as im still waiting for the neurologist to get back in touch. many thanks

  • This article will help: labtestsonline.org.uk/under... Basically a high ANA is a general guide that you may be developing a connective tissue disease, but you can't be diagnosed on it. CTD's include lupus, rhuematoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogrens, vasculitis. You need specific tests to show which CTD you may be developing. The article will tell you which diseases are linked with which tests results. Anti-dsDNA antibodies are associated with lupus, anti-centromere antibodies are associated with limited scleroderma. This doesn't mean you definitely have either diagnosis, your symptoms will also play a factor. It can also take years to decades, before an autoimmune disease develops. I use the AIP diet to keep my symptoms in check, which is the Autoimmune Protocol Paleo diet.

    I don't have any further diagnosis at this stage but my ANA has increased to 1:2560, homogeneous pattern, which is indicative of pretty much nothing at all. Nothing has changed since I made this post.

  • I've had Hashimoto's Thyroiditis since 2005. I saw a rheumatologist in 2008 who suggested I had Undifferentiated Connective Tissue disease but I don't know what my test results were. Then I saw a rheumo in 2011 and my ANA was 1:640 and I had a weak positive for anti-cardiolipin. They basically just keep fobbing me off that it's not conclusive for anything else except the Hashi's. I'm sick of waiting to see if I get more ill.

  • If symptoms get worse or persist I would see your gp for a new referral. Especially as you have had a weak positive for anti cardio. Any problems or symptoms speak to your gp about your concerns. And do contact paul for the information pack - the information in the pack is a great help. I hope everything works out ok love.

    Esky x

  • Your current titre is very high (indicating that a systemic autoimmune disease is likely) and coupled with the positive anticardiolipin and the UCTD, I'm surprised you're not being checked for APS and/or lupus by now.

    The high titre doesn't necessarily correspond to your symptoms, so you will need to get your rheumatologist to explain to you his proposed plan for reducing the titre and for making you feel better. Most doctors are so focused on telling you what you DON'T have, that they forget to deal with what you do have and with what you experience.

  • Thanks for your all your answers. I honestly don't know if I have or am developing lupus, but I thought people here might know more about it, because lupus is the closest CTD to the symptoms I do have. It's just confusing, because Hashi's can give you lots of random symptoms that are like other AI diseases. I don't feel like my symptoms are bad at the moment. But I want to know what is going on and it seems like I won't get any answer unless I get more symptoms. I appreciate your input though.

  • Hi!

    I have hypothyroidism for years,..but around menopause time was having some mild aches and pains I don't usually get...I was thinking as my thyroid was acting up even more, they should check for other autoimmune stuff...They did, and my ANA came back 1:320 homogenous and finely speckled....the only other thing was some inflammation that CRP test...That's it! They called Lupus, and here I am....All other tests were negative.

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