The ANA test is ordered when someone shows signs and symptoms that are associated with a systemic autoimmune disorder. People with autoimmune disorders can have a variety of symptoms that are vague and non-specific and that change over time, progressively worsen, or alternate between periods of flare-ups and remissions.
Some examples of signs and symptoms include:
- Low-grade fever
- Persistent fatigue, weakness
- Arthritis-like pain in one or more joints
- Red rash (for lupus, one resembling a butterfly across the nose and cheeks)
- Skin sensitivity to light
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Inflammation and damage to organs and tissues, including the kidneys, lungs, heart, lining of the heart, central nervous system, and blood vessels
For evaluation of autoimmune disorders this test is performed. This test is followed by other autoantibody tests to detect specific disorders. These antibodies include:
Anti DS DNA – To help diagnose and monitor Systemic lupus erythematosus.
Anti SM – To help diagnose and monitor Systemic lupus erythematosus.
Antibodies to double -stranded(ds) DNA and the so-called Smith (Sm) antigen are virtually diagnostic of SLE.
Antihistone – For diagnosis and monitoring of drug-induced lupus erythematosus.
Anti Nuclear RNP – For mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) cases; may also be positive with SLE and scleroderma.
Anti SS-A(Ro) – For diagnosing Sjögren syndrome.
AntiSS-B(La) – For diagnosing Sjögren syndrome.
Anti Scl-70 – To diagnose diffuse form scleroderma.
Anticentromere – To help diagnose limited cutaneous scleroderma.
Anti Jo-1 – To diagnose polymyositis; may be positive with pulmonary fibrosis.