Positive ANA result?

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at wit's end
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 5/19/2009 1:34 PM (GMT -7)   
A few weeks back I had to visit my gastro doctor for blood work due to elevated liver enzyme levels, they are now normal again but I had a abnormal ANA result of 1:160 and if I recall correctly it was speckled. Does this mean I have Lupus??
 
I have looked at the ranges of the ANA and one I saw showed 1:160 is just one above the 1:320 which they said was negative. Do the higher numbers mean that it is not as bad as the low numbers, say 1:32 or 1:16. Does the 1:160 mean I have a low positive?
 
Would appreciate a reply from someone with knowledge of this test and what it's results and ranges mean. Thanks.


Diagnosed with left sided UC in sigmoid colon and rectum 1986.
Put on Azulfidine 2 X 3 a day and Rowasa enemas 60mg.
Have been pretty much in remission overall other than a few flares over the past 21 years.
Medicine changed to Asacol 400mg 2 pills X3 times a day. Taken off all meds in 2004.
Diagnosed with acid reflux 2005. Put on Protonix 40mg.
Have been using Canasa 1000mg suppositories nightly since January 2007.
Was put back on Asacol 400mg 2 pills 2X a day in July 2007 maintenance. 


Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7019
   Posted 5/19/2009 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
A positive ANA can mean many other things besides Lupus - Lupus is diagnosed by the 4 of 11 criteria found by following the link in my signature. If that is your only symptom it could mean one of several auto-immune diseases, or it could be a false-positive (i.e. a faulty test).

ANA ranges are in titers, which means, from "best/lowest" to "worst/highest" the values are 1:16, 1:32, ...., 1:160, 1:320, ...1:1240, etc.

Hope that helps,

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Syndrome, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Plaquenil, Prednisone(15 5mg), Piroxicam, Xanax, Trazodone, Boniva, Wellbutrin, Valtrex, Vicodin, Prilosec
Links: Diagnosing Lupus (4 of 11), Lupus.org Info, Lupus Resources, Help HealingWell, Drug Interactions

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at wit's end
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 5/19/2009 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Lynnwood, I went back and looked at my lab work and mine 1:160 homogenous titer. I am reading some information on a Lupus support site and it states 1:16 is considered positive and if SED rates and Complement tests are positive, Lupus is considered. It also shows 1:32 is  definite positive and means the disease is active, and that 1:64 is considered very high and tissue damage is imminent. I also read on here that a titer of 1:640 shows a greater concentration of antinuclear antibodies than a titer of 1:320 or 1:160. So it isn't lower the number, the higher the case of Lupus? I do suffer from Ulcerative Colitis which is a autoimmune disorder in itself that can cause symptoms that are similar.  And it attacks your system also. So I'm just hoping it is from my colitis as I read it can cause the elevated ANA as well as certain meds.


Diagnosed with left sided UC in sigmoid colon and rectum 1986.
Put on Azulfidine 2 X 3 a day and Rowasa enemas 60mg.
Have been pretty much in remission overall other than a few flares over the past 21 years.
Medicine changed to Asacol 400mg 2 pills X3 times a day. Taken off all meds in 2004.
Diagnosed with acid reflux 2005. Put on Protonix 40mg.
Have been using Canasa 1000mg suppositories nightly since January 2007.
Was put back on Asacol 400mg 2 pills 2X a day in July 2007 maintenance. 


AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 5/20/2009 8:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi wit's end . . . sorry you are having trouble.

There is some good information in the "Lupus Resources" topic. Here is a quote from that topic that might help:

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.


I hope this helps. My understanding is that the patterns aren't absolute . . . but indicative.

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


at wit's end
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 5/21/2009 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I just wonder if the 2400mg I take daily of Asacol for my ulcerative colitis could be the culprit or my colitis itself causing the ANA result? It is a auto-immune disorder. I also take 40mg of Protonix a day plus a 10mg a day dose of Lexapro for anti-anxiety. I take a daily vitamin and 3 fish oil a day for purposes of keeping my good cholesterol level where it should be.
Diagnosed with left sided UC in sigmoid colon and rectum 1986.
Put on Azulfidine 2 X 3 a day and Rowasa enemas 60mg.
Have been pretty much in remission overall other than a few flares over the past 21 years.
Medicine changed to Asacol 400mg 2 pills X3 times a day. Taken off all meds in 2004.
Diagnosed with acid reflux 2005. Put on Protonix 40mg.
Have been using Canasa 1000mg suppositories nightly since January 2007.
Was put back on Asacol 400mg 2 pills 2X a day in July 2007 maintenance. 


LadyTsuguri
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/23/2009 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Lynnwood said...
A positive ANA can mean many other things besides Lupus - Lupus is diagnosed by the 4 of 11 criteria found by following the link in my signature. If that is your only symptom it could mean one of several auto-immune diseases, or it could be a false-positive (i.e. a faulty test).

ANA ranges are in titers, which means, from "best/lowest" to "worst/highest" the values are 1:16, 1:32, ...., 1:160, 1:320, ...1:1240, etc.

Hope that helps,

I alwyas have a positive ANA, but my rheumatologist said they don't use numbers, so he doesn't know my titer. He also tried saying my ANA was nothing a while back, and it didn't matter, DESPITE my symptoms lining up so well with lupus. I was diagnosed soon after that, but it's such a headache to deal with.

BumbleBee1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 5/23/2009 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there
A positive ANA certainly does not mean lupus as it can be positive for many reasons including non rheumatic diseases such as thyroid and liver disease. It can be positive in healthy individuals especially the elderly and in relatives of people with lupus, though usually in lower titres. The higher the titre the more likely it is to be caused by lupus or a similar connective tissue disease.

I have never read that higher titres mean serious disease. ANA is not considered as showing disease activity It all depends on the results of other tests but more important the seriousness of the lupus depends on the actual symptoms.
A false positive result means the result is due to some other cause then the one suspected. If the ANA is not due to lupus that is false positive for lupus. If a syphilis test is positive because the person has another infectious disease, then it is false positive for syphilis.

Sulfazalazine can cause drug induced lupus low risk and can worsen existing lupus. It is inadvisable to use it for lupus although it is used in treating RA as well as gastric type diseases. The Asacol is somehow related to the salfasalazine but I don't know exactly how. There are a few cases of DIL or lupus like disease reported with Asacol. As with SLE, DIL is the symptoms being experienced or and other signs, not just an elevated ANA. If SLE is suspected then other tests should be done for other antibodies and urine and other symptoms taken into account. If a drug is implicated the only way of telling is to discontinue the drug and see if signs and symptoms improve. This is not always possible. The antibodies can remain psoitive for a very long time long after the symptoms have gone

Bottom line in my opinion: a positive ANA is no reason for alarm and does not mean lupus. If 95% + of those with lupus have a positive ANA, 95% of those with a positive ANA do not have lupus.

Best Wishes
BB

at wit's end
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 9/11/2009 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I had a retest on August 26th for liver enzymes and ANA plus they tested me also this time for RA, all came back ok. My ANA test showed negative this time. So maybe it was just a false positive.
Diagnosed with left sided UC in sigmoid colon and rectum 1986.
Put on Azulfidine 2 X 3 a day and Rowasa enemas 60mg.
Have been pretty much in remission overall other than a few flares over the past 21 years.
Medicine changed to Asacol 400mg 2 pills X3 times a day. Taken off all meds in 2004.
Diagnosed with acid reflux 2005. Put on Protonix 40mg.
Have been using Canasa 1000mg suppositories nightly since January 2007.
Was put back on Asacol 400mg 2 pills 2X a day in July 2007 maintenance. 


PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 9/11/2009 2:52 PM (GMT -7)   
That's good news. If you don't have any of the other markers for lupus, I wouldn't worry about a previous positive test. If you have other autoimmune symptoms, I would recommend starting a journal of symptoms. Sometimes a positive ANA will show up negative in a future test. There don't seem to be any simple answers when dealing with autoimmune issues. I hope you don't have any future problems.
SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, tri-est, cymbalta, tricor, acifex


at wit's end
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 9/16/2009 11:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Me too PattyLatty. Thanks.
Diagnosed with left sided UC in sigmoid colon and rectum 1986.
Put on Azulfidine 2 X 3 a day and Rowasa enemas 60mg.
Have been pretty much in remission overall other than a few flares over the past 21 years.
Medicine changed to Asacol 400mg 2 pills X3 times a day. Taken off all meds in 2004.
Diagnosed with acid reflux 2005. Put on Protonix 40mg.
Have been using Canasa 1000mg suppositories nightly since January 2007.
Was put back on Asacol 400mg 2 pills 2X a day in July 2007 maintenance. 

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