ANA, Antinuclear Antibody Test

This is a test used to help diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and drug-induced lupus and rule out other similar (autoimmune) diseases. The ANA test checks for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in blood.

Sometimes the immune system malfunctions and produces substances that attack your body's own cells instead of foreign substances. These substances, called autoantibodies, are produced by the body's immune system. This is the body's defense system against invasion by foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria. When this happens, it may cause a disease called an autoimmune disease (immunity to self). The presence of ANA is a marker of an autoimmune process and is associated with several autoimmune diseases but is most commonly seen in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

PREPARATION FOR TEST

No preparation or fasting is necessary. A blood sample is taken by a needle from a vein.

NORMAL FINDINGS

Adults: Negative at 1:40 dilution.

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.