blood tests for auto immune

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alexb73
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/1/2008 12:37 AM (GMT -7)   
other than ANA what other blood tests deal with auto-immune?

i know there is Immunoglobulin IgA

BumbleBee1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 10/1/2008 4:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Alex

Lupus and lupus like connective tissue diseases are one group of many autoimmune diseases. ANA is diagnostically relevant only to lupus as far as I know although it might be raised in several other autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune hypo thyroid disease. It can also be raised for many other reasons such as infectious diseases and because it just is. The vast majority of people with a slightly raised ANA do not have lupus
Having a positive ANA does not mean you have lupus. Not having a positive ANA reduces the chances of having lupus and makes diagnosis much harder.

Lupus is an autoimmune connective tissue disease. Examples of autoimmune diseases that are NOT connective tissue diseases are Celiac, Crohn's, diabetes 1, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto's thyroid, blood diseases such as APS with a tendency to clot, or ITP with low platelets, biliary cirrhosis/ hepatitis. They each have their own diagnostic criteria ( symptoms and blood work) and their own autoantibodies where relevant.

You would have to research each autoimmune disease to see what is significant in each case !

Lupus is characterised very often by AUTOantibodies often of the IgG class. That means antibodies to self.
We have hundreds of thousands of antibodies because they are what defend our bodies against infections. It's the AUTO antibodies that are relevant in autoimmune disease. Low complement levels, C3 and C4 are also a feature of lupus. One of the most common features of lupus is joint aches and pains. Rheumatologists deal with suspected lupus because they deal with musculoskeletal/ connective tissue diseases of all sorts - congenital, inherited, infectious, acquired and autoimmune. They refer out to specialists depending on how the Lupus is affecting the person.
A good description of the most common features of lupus has already been given in the ACR Criteria.

Diagnosis comes from careful expert examination of health history, symptoms reported by the patient, signs noticed by the doctor as he examines the patient and by various lab tests- blood work, urine and sometimes imaging.
Maybe I have misremembered and sorry if so, but I think you said you have all the signs or symptoms of lupus except the skin.
I wonder what you have in mind, because most of what the patient might notice as symptoms are common to many other diseases. If you really have all the criteria including other blood work, except skin problems, you would probably get diagnosed even with a negative ANA because an ANA is not essential. Without it there has to be a compelling body of other evidence for lupus as opposed to any other disease.

Some typical lupus like symptoms can be caused by chronic immune deficency states.

If you think you have an illness you should see a GP with a list of your current health problems plus health history and a note of chronic health problems of close blood relatives and request a thorough check up.

BB

Post Edited (BumbleBee1) : 10/1/2008 6:08:14 AM (GMT-6)


AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 10/1/2008 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Alex,

Even with a positive ANA, it is not specific to Lupus . . . see this quote from "Lupus Resources" (link at the end of my signature). A positive ANA also has a pattern. This pattern is really helpful to the Rheumatologist (along with a symptom list) in helping differentiate what might be going on.

Lynnwood said...
More specific info on what your ANA test might mean:

The homogeneous (smooth) pattern is found in a variety of connective tissue diseases as well as in patients taking particular drugs such as certain anti-arrhythmics, anti-convulsants or anti-hypertensives. This pattern is also the pattern that is most commonly seen in healthy individuals who have positive ANA tests.

The speckled pattern is found in SLE and other connective tissue diseases, while the peripheral (or rim) pattern is found almost exclusively in SLE. The nucleolar pattern is found primarily in patients who have scleroderma.


Some other blood work that is helpful in dx are: (As taken from the Lupus Foundation Website - link in my signature "4 of 11"): Positive anti-double stranded Hemolytic anemia or leukopenia (white blood count below 4,000 cells per cubic millimeter) or lymphopenia (less than 1,500 lymphocytes per cubic millimeter) or thrombocytopenia (less than 100,000 platelets per cubic millimeter). The leukopenia and lymphopenia must be detected on two or more occasions. The thrombocytopenia must be detected in the absence of drugs known to induce it.anti-DNA test, positive anti-Sm test, positive antiphospholipid antibody such as anticardiolipin, or false positive syphilis test (VDRL);

There are many other blood test results that are helpful to a doctor too, but most of them are to make sure that we don't have systemic affects from the lupus. Or something else causing our issues. Its all a process of ruling out lupus as well as suspecting it.

Clear as mud? It is a HUGE topic. One book on lupus begins with this: "To know Lupus is to know all of medicine" That's why it is so difficult to differentiate sometimes between Lupus and other disease/problems.

I hope this helps.

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator


AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 10/1/2008 6:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Alex:

Question: Is your doctor treating your symptoms? If so, how? If not, what symptoms are being ignored?

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator


alexb73
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/1/2008 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
rosie,

no...i'm no longer see any specific doctor and i'm using a private co to purchase my own blood tests. thats why i'm curiious as to which blood tests deal with auto immune

AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 10/1/2008 5:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh !!

I can tell you that my first appointment with each of two Rheumies began with about 25 blood tests and urine.

I hope you don't discover an illness w/o having insurance . . . its a trite thing to be thinking about . . . but my sil did that and discovered that she had potential thyroid cancer and had a dickens of a time getting insurance. She now wishes she had gotten the insurance first.

I wish you well and I hope you get things figured out one way or another.

blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator

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