What is an ANA test?

My husband got diagnosed with RA in April of 2015, but was awaiting two knee replacements for osteo-arthritis in his knees, at the time. As he also has a chronically infected condition affecting his lungs, (bronchiectasis,) the local hospital didn't really want to do his knee replacements at all and at first tried to force him to just take strong DMARD drugs, stating these would improve his knees and make him able to walk again, (so far as we are aware DMARDS don't do anything for OA and my husband's RA in his other joints was mild.) We just thought the DMARDS would knock out his immune system and cause him even more serious chest infections, pneumonia or death and flatly refused. We found a local Orthopaedic Surgeon who was willing to replace my husband's knees under spinal block and both operations worked and his walking is better now than it has been in the last fifteen years. It has taken sometime to get both knees replaced and the swelling in my husband's hands has mostly gone. The Rheumatologist now says he doesn't have to take any DMARDS and can just have Hydroxychloroquine, or nothing, if he prefers. She says his ANA blood test is negative now. Does anyone know what an ANA test indicates please?

4 Replies

  • Its a screening test for autoimmune disorders - see here for a better explanation healthline.com/health/antin...

  • Many thanks. That's clearer!

  • Ana indicates autoimmune disease. The specific one for RA is Anti-ccp. I also have bronchiectasis because of RA. This disease can effect any organ of the body and for some reason lungs the most

  • Hi ks1966, that' interesting, thanks. My husband didn't get the bronchiectasis because he already had the RA. It was the other way round. He has had bronchiectasis since 1949, when he was two! All of a sudden when he was 67, his joints all swelled up. Now the swelling has subsided and apart from distorted wrists and fingers, he doesn't have any sign of RA. I've had what my Consultant calls a "mixed connective tissue disease" since 1977 and am the same, with only rarely positive blood tests. My husband had to take a really huge amount of antibiotics for something other than the bronchiectasis, and it was these heavy courses of antibiotics that seemed to set off his joint swelling and pain. Most odd! Regards,

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