This offer for the Antinuclear Antibody test and associated additional tests includes the required blood drawing by a trained phlebotomist at any of our collection locations around the country and lab test in an accredited national laboratory.
The reflex automatically runs additional specific antibody tests included in the panel if the ANA is positive.
A significant deviation from the normal range may require further evaluation by your physician.
We offer the following panel for Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) with reflex which contains the following tests :
Please be advised that while we support and assist your care, we are not practicing, treating physicians. Our laboratory services are overseen by trained pathologists and clinical chemists, but this is not a substitute for a visit to your General Practitioner or specialist.
This offering is for patients providing payment at the time of service. All orders will be processed through our website or call in line. Obtaining a great price through FairCareMD may provide additional discounts to our already reasonable fees. After you make a deal here, we will send promotional codes, a link to our site, and a phone number to schedule an appointment.
Thank you for your interest in Health Screen Services. We appreciate the opportunity to assist you in your path to optimal health.
All tests are private. No data is shared with outside parties unless you ask us to send them. Health Screens assumes no liability for the use of the information provided to you, only the accuracy.
To better understand this test, we also have included additional information. If you have questions please ask your physician or call our hot line available through our site:
What are antinuclear antibodies?
We normally have proteins in our blood called antibodies. Antibodies are like a flagging system that tag outside organism like bacteria and viruses to be attacked by the cells of the blood stream. Antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) are unusual antibodies, detectable in the blood, that have the capability of binding to certain structures within the nucleus of the cells. The nucleus is the innermost core within the body's cells and contains the DNA, the primary genetic material.
ANAs are found in patients whose immune system may be predisposed to cause inflammation against their own body tissues.
Antibodies that are directed against one's own tissues are referred to as auto-antibodies. The propensity for the immune system to work against its own body is referred to as autoimmunity. ANAs indicate the possible presence of autoimmunity and provide, therefore, an indication for doctors to consider the possibility of autoimmune illness.
How is the ANA test designed? What is it for?
The ANA test was designed by Dr. George Friou in 1957. The ANA test is performed using a blood sample. The antibodies in the serum of the blood are exposed in the laboratory to cells. It is then determined whether or not antibodies are present that react to various parts of the nucleus of cells. Thus, the term anti-"nuclear" antibody. Fluorescence techniques are frequently used to actually detect the antibodies in the cells, thus ANA testing is sometimes referred to as fluorescent antinuclear antibody test (FANA). The ANA test is a sensitive screening test used to detect autoimmune diseases.
What are autoimmune diseases?
Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which there is a disorder of the immune system characterized by the abnormal production of antibodies (auto-antibodies) directed against the tissues of the body. Autoimmune diseases typically feature inflammation of various tissues of the body. ANAs are found in patients with a number of different autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyositis, scleroderma, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, juvenile diabetes mellitus, Addison disease, vitiligo, pernicious anemia, glomerulonephritis, and pulmonary fibrosis. ANAs can also be found in patients with conditions that are not considered classic autoimmune diseases, such as chronic infections and cancer.
What other conditions cause ANAs to be produced?
ANAs can be produced in patients with infections (virus or bacteria), lung diseases (primary pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension), gastrointestinal diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, alcoholic liver disease), hormonal diseases (Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroiditis, Grave's disease), blood diseases (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, hemolytic anemia), cancers (melanoma, breast, lung, kidney, ovarian and others), skin diseases (psoriasis, pemphigus), as well as in the elderly and those people with a family history of rheumatic diseases.
Can medications cause ANAs to be produced?
Many medications can sometimes stimulate the production of ANAs, including procainamide (Procan SR), hydralazine, and dilantin. ANAs that are stimulated by medication are referred to as drug-induced ANAs. This does not necessary mean that any disease is present when these ANAs are "induced." Sometimes diseases are associated with these ANAs, and they are referred to as drug-induced diseases.
ANAs are defined in certain patterns. What does this mean?
ANAs present different "patterns" depending on the staining of the cell nucleus in the laboratory: homogeneous or diffuse; speckled; nucleolar; and peripheral or rim. While these patterns are not specific for any one illness, certain illnesses can more frequently be associated with one pattern or another. The patterns then can sometimes give the doctor further clues as to types of illnesses to look for in evaluating a patient. For example, the nucleolar pattern is more commonly seen in the disease scleroderma. The speckled pattern is seen in many conditions and in people who do not have any autoimmune disease.
Are ANAs always associated with illness?
No. ANAs can be found in approximately 5% of the normal population, usually in low titers (low levels). These people usually have no disease. Titers of lower than 1:80 are less likely to be significant. (ANA titers of less than or equal to 1:40 are considered negative.) Even higher titers are often insignificant in patients over 60 years of age. Ultimately, the ANA result must be interpreted in the specific context of an individual patient's symptoms and other test results. It may or may not be significant in a given individual.
REFERENCES: Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, W B Saunders Co, edited by Shaun Ruddy, et al., 2000. Shiel, WC, et al. The Diagnostic Associations of Patients With Antinuclear Antibodies Referred to a Community Rheumatologist, J Rheumatology 1989;16:782-5.
Created on: 11/28/10
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