Synonyms: ANA, Antinuclear Antibodies, FANA NO REFLEX ON THIS ORDER

Why It Is Done:

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sj?gren's syndrome.
Hashimoto's thyroid disease.
A reaction to a medication.

Test Overview

An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test measures the amount and pattern of abnormal antibody that work against the body's tissues (autoantibody). Everyone has a small amount of autoantibody, but about 5% of people have a larger amount. About half of these 5% have an autoimmune disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis. An ANA test alone cannot diagnose a specific disease. It is used in combination with an evaluation of symptoms and other tests.

The body's immune system normally attacks and destroys foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. However, in disorders known as autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks and destroys the body's normal tissues. When a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune system produces antibodies that attach to the body's own cells as though they were foreign substances, often causing them to be damaged or destroyed.

How To Prepare

No special preparation is necessary.