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What are the uses and limitations of an antinuclear antibody test for lupus?

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Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) is a type of antibody directed against the cells' nuclei. ANA is present in nearly everybody with active lupus. Doctors often use the ANA test as a screening tool. Plus, looking at patterns of the antibodies can sometimes help doctors determine the specific disease a person has. That, in turn, helps determine which treatment would be most appropriate. Although almost all people with lupus have the antibody, a positive result doesn't necessarily indicate lupus. Positive results are often seen with some other diseases and in a smaller percentage of people without lupus or other autoimmune disorders. So a positive ANA by itself is not enough for a lupus diagnosis. Doctors must consider the result of this test along with other criteria.

From: Lab Tests for Lupus WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital: "Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Lupus: A Patient Care Guide for Nurses and Other Health Professionals, 3rd Edition."

Lupus Foundation of America: "Lab Tests."

NYU School of Medicine: "Neonatal Lupus."

Lupus Alliance of America: "Laboratory Tests for Lupus."

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh: "Diagnosing Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases."

Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on October 23, 2017

SOURCES:

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital: "Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Lupus: A Patient Care Guide for Nurses and Other Health Professionals, 3rd Edition."

Lupus Foundation of America: "Lab Tests."

NYU School of Medicine: "Neonatal Lupus."

Lupus Alliance of America: "Laboratory Tests for Lupus."

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh: "Diagnosing Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases."

Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on October 23, 2017

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What are the uses and limitations of an antiphospholipid antibodies test for lupus?

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