Author Topic: Any info on ANA Direct test?  (Read 6390 times)

Tinker

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Any info on ANA Direct test?
« on: March 23, 2010, 10:39:34 PM »
Hi everyone,
I have been neg for ANA most every time I've been checked but I was tested with ANA Direct test recently and it was POSITIVE.  After researching this on the net I could find nothing but unreliable sources. 

Does anyone know anything about the ANA Direct test?    Tinker

Reanne

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2010, 11:02:11 PM »
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Sicca, dry mouth/eyes, cubital tunnel syndrome, osteopenia, hypertension
Meds: Plaquenil 400 mg., aspirin, metoprolol, Restasis

Tinker

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2010, 09:09:44 PM »
Thanks, Reanne.  I did see this article, but it was quite confusing and I was left with more questions than answers.  If you can shed any insight I'd be grateful.  Thanks for your response.      Sheila

DragonflyC

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2010, 07:01:16 PM »
It looks like ANA Direct counts the antibodies in your blood, and the result is shown as a number.  For the regular ANA test, blood is diluted until no antibodies show up, and the result is shown as a ratio.   ANA Direct is supposed to be more accurate, though I don't know if that's actually the case.  If it's true, it certainly would explain your positive result after always having negative ANA tests. 

Both kinds of ANA tests help determine whether or not there's autoimmune activity in your body.  If you receive a positive result and you have symptoms, it could mean that you have an autoimmune disease.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 07:05:42 PM by DragonflyC »
SJS, Hashimoto's, Raynaud's
Plaquenil, Evoxac, Restasis, Levoxyl, fish oil supplements, Vitamin D, NSAIDs, prednisone when flaring
Tested positive for SS-A ( > 8 ) and ANA (>1:640)

Visit me at http://sjogrensstyle.com for ideas about living well despite autoimmune disease.

Billydude

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2010, 11:58:38 AM »
I'm a little confused by this all myself.  I just got back my results from my testing at the Sjogrens study at UCSF.   My blood work had always been negative but this time my ANA is positive but my SSA and SSB are still negative.     Also,  I've always said that dry eyes weren't much of a problem for me but my Shirmers now falls into the Sjogrens catagory.   Many of the tests show a progression since my last study at UCSF two years ago.   Saliva flow rate,  ocular staining...all worse than last time.   I thought these drugs would halt the progression but I guess not.
Anyway...does this ANA tell you anything other than you have an autoimmune disease?

DragonflyC

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2010, 12:22:01 PM »
ANA is a general test for autoimmune activity, but it doesn't pinpoint any specific illness.

SS-B and SS-A antibodies are associated with Sjogren's, but it's possible to have SJS without them and to have something else with them (SS-B is more specific than SS-A for Sjogren's).  My understanding is that doctors have to look at symptoms for diagnosis in addition to blood work because 1) the medical community has not yet identified the antibodies related to many diseases and 2) sometimes the antibodies point in a direction that doesn't match up with the symptoms. 

As for the drugs, I think that they can slow (but not stop) the progress of the disease, but that they don't always work well enough to do that.  For me, I do think that plaquenil is slowing things down, though my Sjogren's continues to get worse as time passes (it's just not getting worse at the rate it was when I first got treatment). 

Autoimmune diseases are hard to pin down.  Even though I have dry eyes and mouth, joint pain, fatigue, SS-A antibodies, and a high ANA, my rheum says, "It looks like you have Sjogren's" instead of "You have Sjogren's" every time I see him.  I assume that's because an AI disease might look like one thing and then turn out to be something else, even when the picture looks pretty clear.
SJS, Hashimoto's, Raynaud's
Plaquenil, Evoxac, Restasis, Levoxyl, fish oil supplements, Vitamin D, NSAIDs, prednisone when flaring
Tested positive for SS-A ( > 8 ) and ANA (>1:640)

Visit me at http://sjogrensstyle.com for ideas about living well despite autoimmune disease.

sewandsew

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2010, 12:22:36 PM »
To add to this question....  If you have a high ANA does that mean you are suffering more or in a flare?  Or are the figures just negative and positive?

Nancy60

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2010, 02:47:44 PM »
The ANA titers don't indicate that you are going into a flares or how severe a person is affected, it basically just confirms there are antibodies against the cell nucleus present (auto-antibodies).  The more specific tests tell the doctor which auto-antibodies are present and these can help in diagnosing which autoimmune disease they are dealing with.  (ie SSA/SSB in sjogrens, ds-dna and sm in Lupus, RF in RA etc...)  In some cases these more specific tests can help indicate a flare (ie ds-dna).  Your ANA titer can change from testing to testing but that doesn't really tell them much.

Tinker

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2010, 07:13:39 PM »
Ok, that sheds a little light on the subject.  Thanks for the input everyone. 

Billydude

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 01:15:47 PM »
Still confused.  My ANA score is 1:320.    Is that a low score?

DragonflyC

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 02:33:59 PM »
Hi, Billydude. 

1:320 is high. 

Some doctors will count an ANA as positive when it's as low as 1:40, while some wait until it's at least 1:160 before they'll say anything is wrong.  1:320 is the next step up from 1:160; it's usually considered pretty conclusive evidence of autoimmune activity in the body. 

This article might help you understand: http://arthritis.about.com/od/diagnostic/a/ana.htm

Here's an excerpt:

Serum from the patient's blood specimen is added to microscope slides which have commercially prepared cells on the slide surface. If the patient's serum contains antinuclear antibodies (ANA), they bind to the cells (specifically the nuclei of the cells) on the slide.

A second antibody, commercially tagged with a fluorescent dye, is added to the mix of patient's serum and commercially prepared cells on the slide. The second (fluorescent) antibody attaches to the serum antibodies and cells which have bound together. When viewed under an ultraviolet microscope, antinuclear antibodies appear as fluorescent cells.
*If fluorescent cells are observed, the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test is considered positive.
*If fluorescent cells are not observed, the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test is considered negative.

A titer is determined by repeating the positive test with serial dilutions until the test yields a negative result. The last dilution which yields a positive result (flourescence) is the titer which gets reported. For example, if a titer performed for a positive ANA test is:

1:10 positive
1:20 positive
1:40 positive
1:80 positive
1:160 positive
1:320 negative
[In this example, the patient's ANA is 1:160 because that's the last titer at which a positive result was found]

SJS, Hashimoto's, Raynaud's
Plaquenil, Evoxac, Restasis, Levoxyl, fish oil supplements, Vitamin D, NSAIDs, prednisone when flaring
Tested positive for SS-A ( > 8 ) and ANA (>1:640)

Visit me at http://sjogrensstyle.com for ideas about living well despite autoimmune disease.

Billydude

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Re: Any info on ANA Direct test?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2010, 03:41:45 PM »
So it sounds like a High score is indicitive of autoimmnue not a low score.  Mine test was Positive with that score.   All the other tests like the Schrimiers and salivary flow and tear breakup all fall within the Sjogrens catagories.  But,  of course my SSA and SSB are still negative.    ITs obviously progressing as all my tests are just a little worse than they were two years ago.