Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA)
There is very little chance of a
problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.
- You may get a small bruise at the site. You
can lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several
- In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood
sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be used
several times a day to treat this.
- Ongoing bleeding can be a
problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and
other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely. If you have
bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell
your doctor before your blood sample is taken.
An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test
measures the amount and pattern of
antibodies in your blood that work against your own
body (autoimmune reaction). If there are more antibodies in the blood than normal, the
test is positive. When the test is positive, most labs do other tests right
away to look for the cause. These tests can find out which antibodies are in
the blood in higher amounts than normal.
A positive ANA test may be caused
- Autoimmune connective tissue diseases.
- Autoimmune diseases of other organs. Examples
- Medicines, such as those used to treat high
blood pressure, heart disease, and tuberculosis (TB).
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Taking medicine. Many medicines can change the
results of this test. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the nonprescription
and prescription medicines you take.
virus. Viral illness can cause an ANA to be positive,
and later turn back to normal.