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ANA test + & rheumatoid arthritis test -...what next?

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hello,my name is li ying,i come from malaysia.I had donated blood and the hospital called me for a blood test.I have undergone 2 blood test.The doctor said that my ANA test is positive and the pattern is speckle.My rheumatoid arthritis test is negative.What should i do now?I do not have any symptoms of connective tissue disease.Is it possible for me having ANA positive and do not have lupus?I sincerely hope that you can reply my email. thank you very much!

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replied November 30th, 2006
Lupus Answer A1842
Detection of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) is only one of the 11 criteria given by The American Rheumatoid Association for diagnosing systemic lupus erithematosus (SLE). You should have at least 4 of these 11 criteria to confirm SLE:

1. Malar rash (facial rash in the shape of a butterfly);

2. Discoid lupus (disc-like rush with hyperkeratosis and atrophy on the skin);

3. Photosensitivity (sensitivity to light);

4. Painless ulcerations of the oral and nasal mucosa;

5. Arthritis on 2 or more peripheral joints;

6. Pleurisy or pericarditis;

7. Signs for renal failure (proteins in the urine, erythrocytes and cellular casts in the urinary sediment);

8. Neurological manifestations (psychoses and /or convulsions);

9. Hematological disturbances (anemia, leukopenia, lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia);

10. Immunological reports (anti-DNA-antibodies, anti-Sm-antibodies, positive lupus band test of the skin, LE-cells, false positive result for syphilis(anti-cardiolipin-antibodies) ), and

11. High titer of anti nuclear antibodies (ANA)

ANA (the antibodies) are not specific for SLE because it can be also found in: drug-induced lupus, dermatomyositis, polyarteritis nodosa, muscle inflammation (myositis), Sjogren’s syndrome, chronic liver diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, thyroid disease, etc.

You can appeal to a rheumatologist for a physical examination and to request the following tests that are more specific for SLE: anti-DNA-antibodies, anti-Sm-antibodies, positive lupus band test of the skin, LE-cells, false positive result for syphilis(anti-cardiolipin-antibodies).

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