Screening for antinuclear antibodies is used in the investigation of patients with autoimmunity.
Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) are antibodies produced by the body against components of its own cell nucleus. This results in the development of autoimmune diseases. Antinuclear antibodies are commonly used to rule out systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), as 95 to 99% of patients with SLE have a positive ANA. In the ANA test, when using the indirect immunofluorescence methodology, several fluorescent staining patterns are visible: homogeneous, rim, speckled, nucleolar, centromere, and diffuse. These patterns help diagnose specific autoimmune diseases.
What Do Pathological Values Mean?
- Increase: Bacterial endocarditis, chronic autoimmune hepatitis, cirrhosis, connective tissue disease, dermatomyositis, discoid lupus erythematosus, drug-induced lupus erythematosus, infectious mononucleosis, leukemia, malignancy mainly lymphomas, mixed connective tissue disease, severe myasthenia gravis, polymyositis, Raynaud's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, tuberculosis. Medications that can cause a false positive result: acetazolamide, carbidopa, chlorothiazide, chlorpromazine, clofibrate, ethosuximide, gold salts, griseofulvin, hydralazine, isoniazid, lithium, methyldopa, oral contraceptives, penicillin, phenylbutazone, phenytoin, primidone, procainamide, propylthiouracil, quinidine, reserpine, streptomycin, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, thiazide diuretics. Medications that can cause a false-negative result: steroids.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.