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A 35-year-old member asked:

is it a good idea to have a ana test nowadays?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Angus Worthing
Internal Medicine 18 years experience
If symptoms: The ANA is very helpful to screen for lupus and other autoimmune diseases but is not helpful for people without concerning symptoms. Ask your doctor if you should be tested. The gold standard type of test is called immunofluorescence (not ELISA or "direct").
Dr. John Goldman
Rheumatology 55 years experience
For What?: The ANA test is a test performed for certain clincial indications including the presence of lupus, other connective tissue diseases, clarify the cause of clinical symptoms to see what the most appropriate diagnosis is. It is performed to help the diagnosis. It is not done unless indicated. Doing that would not be cost efficient. The test is done to look for and confirm a diagnosis.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
No: Having a laboratory test, any test, in isolation is generally not a good idea. By design, about 5% of the test results are false positives. Laboratory tests should be done only if clinically indicated, with the exception of a few validated screening tests.

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Similar questions

A 21-year-old member asked:

What is the ANA test?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barton Cook
Pediatric Cardiology 31 years experience
Autoimmune screen: A blood test. A positive ANA test indicates that your immune system has launched a misdirected attack on your own tissue — in other words, an autoimmune reaction. This may indicate lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma. Some people have positive ANA tests even when they're healthy, so further confirmatory tests are needed.
A 29-year-old member asked:

What are the appropriate results of an ANA test?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Negative: The normal result for ANA test should be negative. However, low level positive results are common among older people without any disease. Any lab result needs to be evaluated in the total clinical context, a positive ANA test, by itself, is not diagnostic of any disease. ANA test is positive in lupus and other auto-immune diseases.
A 44-year-old member asked:

My ANA test was positive, should I be worried?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Greenfield
Rheumatology 41 years experience
Could mean anything: Positive ANA is a screening test. It is often done to assess for connective tissue disease but there is a high false positive rate. The titer( ie level) of the result along with the pattern can provide more accuracy but often the lab reports only "+" or "-" which is useless. If the patient has significant symptoms compatible with a connective tissue disease, then the ANA more likely to be valid.
Mount Sinai, NY
A 27-year-old male asked:

What does an ANA test look for?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Nayla Mumneh
Allergy and Immunology 29 years experience
ANA: Tests for antinuclear antibodies, which are autoimmune antibodies and can be found in numerous autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, etc.
Libya
A 32-year-old male asked:

Can ANA test be false negative for lupus?

1 doctor answer6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Nayla Mumneh
Allergy and Immunology 29 years experience
Lupus: Has specific criteria for diagnosis, ANA is just one of them and canot be relied on by itself for a diagnosis.
Dr. Philip Miller
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
You will also need double stranded DNA analysis of ANA in addition to a complete rheumatoid profile.
May 2, 2014

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Last updated Jul 2, 2015

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