I have a couple of questions????

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 11/13/2008 6:59 PM (GMT -6)   
My almost 9 year old son was just diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Athritis last week.  So far there are 4 joints that are affeected.  I spoke with his DR today and she told me she got the rest of the test results back and his ANA is high.  She did not tell me what it was tho.  Of course I starting searching the internet to see what that was and found Lupus.  Just because the result is positive does it mean Lupus??  She told me to make an appointment with and Opthamologist to get a slit lamp exam done.  I will schedule the appointment tomorrow, but amy help would be appreciated.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 11/13/2008 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   
RA can cause a positive ANA as most auto-immune disease can. You can also have a positive ANA and never get sick. I'm sure others will come along with more info for you. Lupus is diagnosed with 11 criteria listed in the Lupus Resources section. The positive ANA is just one of those and you must have at least 4. Best of luck to you and God Bless.


PCP DX Lupus and Fibro, Taking plaquenil,Propranolol,  Flexeril,Claritin, Zantac,Ambien,vitamin B-12, multi- vitamin, Lortab.  Homeschooling Mom of 2 boys 1 and 6.  Symptoms: Fatigue, joint pain, heat/sun sensitivity, mouth and nose sores, malar rash, migranes, awful hives, positive ANA, and RF.



Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 6946
   Posted 11/13/2008 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   
As Jennifer said, a positive ANA can mean any AI disease, including RA.

You have to have at least 4 of the 11 symptoms on the "lupus list" (see link in my signature below) to have lupus, and it doesn't sound like that is the case with your son.

Fortunately a rheumatologist is the person who is qualified to treat both RA, Lupus, and several other AI diseases, so you're already in the right hands.

I've never heard of the Slit Lamp Exam before -- it doesn't seem to be associated with Lupus from anything I've been able to locate. It is however associated with another AI disease, Sjogren's Syndrome. (Again something a rheumy would treat.) Is your son having some eye issues?

Try not to worry too much about lupus, so far I don't hear anything that would make me think anything but RA is present.

Take care,

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Syndrome, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Plaquenil, Prednisone(8mg), Piroxicam, Xanax(as needed), Trazodone, Boniva(monthly), Wellbutrin SR, Valtrex
Links: DIAGNOSING LUPUS (4 of 11), LUPUS INFORMATION, LUPUS RESOURCES, Donate to HealingWell, Drug Interactions

Post Edited (Lynnwood) : 11/13/2008 8:06:26 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/14/2008 2:37 AM (GMT -6)   
They are probably checking for signs of Sjogrens which can be detected by the slit lamp exam.
DX: IBS 00, MCTD 05, Depression 06, Sjogren's 07, GER 08  
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Prednisone 20mg, Celebrex 200mg, Effexor 150mg, Nexium 40mg, Metoclop 10mg and numerous other supplements 
Life is what you make of it.  Just something I try to remind myself every day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1296
   Posted 11/14/2008 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Slit lamp test is used to diagnose various eye conditions and diseases.  It might be used to diagnose early MS??? not sure.
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone 5mg, 50mg imuran, Lotrel 40/5mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 142
   Posted 11/15/2008 3:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I just wanted to mention before you freak out about MS and Sjogerms that they do a Slit Lamp test as a baseline for all of us on Plaquenil too. The doc may just plan on starting him on Plaquenil and wants to be sure there are no retinal problems before he starts on it. He will have to go every year to get tested.
Dx: UCTD,Raynaud's,iron deficientcy anemia,proteinuria
Rx: Multi-rec folic 500, Celebrex 200 mg, Plaquenil 400mg, Ultram PRN

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 11/15/2008 12:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Sheryl

When the ANA is found in juvenile arthritis there is a higher risk of eye problems
"An inflammation of the iris (the colored area of the eye) may occur with or without active joint symptoms. This inflammation, called iridocy***is, iritis, or uveitis, can be detected early by an ophthalmologist."

(kidshealth.org and other reliable sites)
Try to get your son's doctor to explain things more to you. Make sure urine has been tested and that all the other antibody tests have been done. Check out first rate reliable sites as a way of informing yourself of the considerationsd and making sure that the right sorts of treatment are being offered and nothing neglected for his general well being and future health - physical exercises for example.

Dr Thomas Lehmann (sp?) has a very good book on Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases.
I hope he will be feeling better soon
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