I asked my primary to call the lab to check if there was a titer value or a pattern. After he speaking to the lab, my primary told me that he's not really familiar with the test, but the lab said it's a sophisticated (?) type of test and does not give titer or pattern. Here's a few quotes from an article he gave me, which was published in 2007:
"The advent of multiplexed bead assays in recent years has introduced a new dimension of testing for complex diseases such as lupus, which can involve multiple autoantibodies. The ability to rapidly identify multiple autoantibodies, with high sensitivity and specificity in an automated fashion, is highly attractive.
"The average concordance for the different analytes was 91% ranging from 81% (dsDNA) to 97% (centromere B). The average relative specificity and sensitivity for the analytes were also high, 92% and 81%, respectively. An examination of 93 "normal controls" demonstrated a 7% false-positive rate, which was comparable to IFA.
"Though reliable, ANA testing by IFA has had its share of problems and criticism over the years. The test has been deemed "subjective" and highly dependent on the competence of the technician reading the slides."
These were the parts of the article that my primary highlighted. I suppose "IFA" is the ANA test that yields titers and patterns. And it sounds like you're right about being the particular scientific method for an ANA test, although it never gives a cumulative, overall "score."
If you'd like more details about what the results look like, I'll type out a sample--no problem at all. The results all fall within ranges.
(I've been referred, by my primary, to a rheumatologist in Billings MT. One of my primary's other patients recommended the fellow.)
For some reason, the site you sent doesn't want to open for me, but I'll try again!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."