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Anthony Bray, MD
Anthony Bray, MD, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10337
Experience:  14 years as clinician in the field of Family Practice
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My daughter had blood tests 4 years ago that showed ANA

Customer Question

My daughter had blood tests 4 years ago that showed ANA 1:320 and on a .01 to .09 scale for negative and 1.0 and above positive, she had 1.0 for anticentromere b. Since that time she has had an ANA test 3 times, and each time it was 1:160 but was not above normal in any category, including anticentromere b. What does this mean? The rheumatologist said one positive result doesn't mean anything, but it seems to me she is positive for something, probably scleroderma and the doctor just doesn't want me to panic yet since she shows very little in the way of symptoms at this time.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 1 year ago.

Hello!

The autoimmune diseases are a challenge with diagnosis because you may have one person with a positive blood test and zero clinical signs and no evidence of inflammation while another might show signs of disease

The diagnosis is based on a combination of findings that add to a concrete conclusion It is very true that we do NOT advise jumping to conclusions based on only one test ...

Confirmation of a diagnosis say of scleroderma would require clinical features of disease ...abnormal screening tests such as ANA ...usually any active autoimmune disease shows elevated inflammatory markers such as sed rate and C- reactive protein. ..

Specific type antibodies are part of making many such diagnoses

In the case of scleroderma a skin biopsy would likely be needed. ..

So also with an autoimmune disease such as lupus there is a combination of findings that adds up to such diagnosis ...evidence of inflammation ( also in lupus often some blood and protein in urine )

So I agree that the positive ANA calls for closer watch over time but by itself does not lead to a diagnosis ...it is one piece of a complex puzzle

Many people will have a positive ANA and never have trouble. The titer level may change over time as well. ..

I hope that this information is helpful.Let me know if you have further questions or concerns I will be happy to get back with you.If my answers have been helpful and to your satisfaction then please remember to leave positive feedback Thank you and Best Regards,

Anthony Bray MD