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What is an antinuclear antibody test for lupus?

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An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is a sensitive screening tool used to detect autoimmune diseases, including lupus. Antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) are antibodies that are directed against certain structures within a cell's nucleus (thus, antinuclear antibody). ANAs are found in particular patterns in people with autoimmune diseases (those in which a person's immune system works against his or her own body). An ANA test is done on a sample of a person's blood. The test determines the strength of the antibodies by measuring how many times the person's blood must be diluted to get a sample that is free of antibodies.

From: Lupus Overview WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

The Lupus Foundation of America.

American College of Rheumatology.

FDA.

Reviewed by David Zelman on May 7, 2019

SOURCES:

The Lupus Foundation of America.

American College of Rheumatology.

FDA.

Reviewed by David Zelman on May 7, 2019

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Does a positive antinuclear antibody test mean that I have lupus?

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