ANA test results

Hi all, I am a 52 year old woman who has recently had a growing number of joint problems diagnosed. Tennis Elbow, Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis...I also have pain in my fingers and occasionally my jaw. My gp arranged x rays of my hands and blood tests. I have been told that the ANA result was weak negative , but my inflammatory markers were not raised so they are not going to do anything else just physio....is this usual? I also have MGUS if that is relevant. The pain is getting me down and surely it can't be a coincidence to have so many sore joints??

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  • I have had a lot of arthritis since I was in my mid forties. At 47 I was diagnosed with RA but this changed last year to primary Sjögren's.

    However my inflammation levels have always been high. But I know from using the NRAS Healthunlocked that about 30% are seronegative, some without raised inflammation markers. However the numbers with negative bloods for Lupus are much lower - around 5%.

    Negative bloods are almost always the case with spondyloarthritis such as Psoriatic Arthritis - and some have this without psoriasis too - my cousin does.

    ANA can be raised in healthy people and sometimes those with RA and PsA. Also Osteoarthritis sometimes affects under 50s as well. But usually it starts in one or two joints I believe so you might want to look up RA, PsA and Ankylosing Spondylitis and if they seem a better fit than OA then you should go back to your GP and explain your thinking. Hope this helps.

  • Thank you for the info. I will look into it x

  • I should have typed WEAK POSITIVE! brain not functioning either lol!

  • I've never really heard of a weak negative ANA (as opposed to weak positive ANA) It gets really hard distinguishing the ageing process with a lupus process. My first signs were skin and blood clotting issues which can't be blamed on simply getting old.

  • Sorry I meant it was a weak POSITIVE result!

  • I have just re read my post and I realised I wrote weak negative, I meant to write WEAK POSITIVE. sorry to lead everyone up the wrong path!

  • Hi jrees

    Sorry to read your suffering so much with lots of joint problems. Interesting your ANA result was weak positive!. This should be kept an eye on as could mean there's something immune going on without being specific. I feel if your still suffering in a few months time it should be repeated or you could still push to go to a Rheumy as I agree with you re also having lots of joint problems that are inflammation based!. Hope that's helpful. Keep us posted how you get on at physio. X

  • Thank you. That is my concern to be honest. I will persevere with and in the meantime I am going to try yoga to see if it helps 🙂

  • I thought that was what you meant to write re weak positive!

    I recognise this term because had a weak positive Rheumatoid Factor in 2011-13 but my ANA was only checked when I'd been on Methotrexate for 2 years so it was "inconclusive" - which I think is same as a weak positive. It was only when I came off all meds properly that it showed clear positive and has stayed there. The rheumatologist thinks it probably was always positive but unfortunately wasn't checked until after my misdiagnosis of RA.

    If you want to find out if you have inflammatory arthritis or not the only real way is to have ultrasound or MRI of your affected joints.

    I think, for now, that your bloods probably wouldn't help you much as it's the inflammation ones they really go by. In the absence of compelling Lupus symptoms i.e facial rash and organ involvement your ANA has to be at least a clear positive of 1:320 or over, for Lupus to be considered I believe.

    But you could go back to GP and ask about seronegative inflammatory arthritis and request that they refer you for ultrasound or MRI? Better than dwelling on the equivocal ANA and possible Lupus I would say.

    PS it's a good idea to avoid all pain killers and anti inflammatories for about a week before blood tests if possible as these can skew the results.

  • Hope it does jrees. Fingers crossed for you. Good idea as sometimes we have to battle to get a diagnosis. X

  • Hi jrrees81,

    With your symptoms of joint pains and a weak positive ANA you may want to push for a referral to a rheumatologist so that more specialised tests can be carried out. They may be able to diagnose the cause of your symptoms and offer some treatment.

    We published a blog article about pain management which may have some helpful tips for you. You can read it at lupusuk.org.uk/pain-managem...

  • Thank you. The gp I saw didn't even explain what tests had the weak positive but he had said that he wouldn't refer me because the inflammatory markers were low. I am planning on making another appointment with a different doctor to see what they say. Thank you for your reply

  • Thankfully my rheumatologist doesn't go solely on inflammation markers.

  • I was diagnosed with raynaud's more than 20 years ago. All blood tests came back negative. Then 5 years ago pain started in my feet and hands--bilateral. My GP ordered tests--ANA, sed rate, Rheumatoid factor.....all came back negative. He said it was osteoarthritis and being on my feet all the time. With persistence, I asked for a referral to a rheumatologist. The next ANA came back 1:40 or 1:80 (considered negative by many docs). Last year my latest rheumatologist ordered another ANA which came back 1:640--which has gotten me a diagnosis of Connective Tissue Disease. Be persistent. You should see a rheumatologist. Your GP should grant your request.

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