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A 36-year-old female asked:

If the nucleosomes (nuc) is positive in the ana profile blood test, what exactly this mean? ?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
Lupus marker: The presence of anti-nuc / anti-ncs suggests lupus, and lupus nephritis, if the rest of the picture fits. Curiously, these autoantibodies also tend to pop up in rheumatoid arthritis under treatment with anti-tnf agents. I'm glad you are taking a proactive approach to your health.
Dr. Amy Deeken
Pathology 21 years experience
It depends...: The ANA report usually gives a titer (1:40, 1:80) as well as a pattern. It means that autoantibodies are present directed against nucleolar rna. Most common pattern seen in scleroderma or systemic sclerosis. Sometimes low titers are not diagnostic and need to be followed especially when the symptoms don't match up . Check with your doc just in case http://neuromuscular.Wustl.Edu/pathol/ana.Htm.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
I agree it's possible that our correspondent was describing a nucleolar pattern and somehow got this conflated with the experimental anti-nucleosome antibodies. And I forgot to mention the importance of the titer. We can join in wishing her the best and being glad she is seeking answers -- an informed patient is invaluable.
Apr 24, 2013
Dr. Amy Deeken
Dr. Amy Deeken commented
Pathology 21 years experience
Provided original answer
Thanks for the correction. Just getting used to wearing bifocals. Clearly misread the question. Please disregard the earlier post.
Apr 24, 2013
Dr. Tracy Lovell
Internal Medicine - rheumatology 22 years experience
Ana pattern: ANA patterns are often not reliable in diagnosing disease in practice. Pattern detection accuracy can also vary between different labs. Ultimately whatever results of an ANA that one obtains has to be interpreted in context of the patients symptoms and history.

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