Question concerning ANA titer results

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by cocoaa, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. cocoaa

    cocoaa New Member

    Hi,

    I am new to this board today and have just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia in addition to having had rheumatoid arthritis for about 8 years now. My question is...I went to see a rheumatologist who works with fibro and CFS also and she ran a whole litanty of tests again and, of course, my sed rate came back at 25 and my c-reactive protein was also positive even while on anti-inflammatory medicines on a constant basis for the arthritis. My question is: my ANA-titer came back as positive at 1:320 with a homogenous pattern. The hospital lab that ran the tests suggested that an Anti-DNA test be run but the specialist did not have it done. She is telling me from this test that I do NOT have Lupus(we were concerned about that possibility) and that the ANA result is from the arthritis. However, the information I have been able to find on the net says that a homogenous pattern can be associated with lupus and that the anti-DNA test needs to be run to know whether a positive reading higher than 1:160 is lupus or not. Has anyone had any experience with the ANA titers and anything that would help shed light on this? I just want to know as much as I can about what's going on in my body.

    Cocoaa
  2. Hippen

    Hippen New Member

    I was told that a positive ANA test...anti nuclear antibody test meant that one had Lupus...I am not certain though. They thought that I had Lupus at one time but my ANA came back normal...so they said I did not have it. I am not sure what all the numbers mean...but I think a positive ANA test would indicate further testing be done. Prednisone is given to treat Lupus but can really lower one's immune system. Please talk with your doctor again and insist on further testing pertaining to your positive ANA test. I wish you the best of luck...and send many prayers for you. Let us know what happens...thanks...Love Hippen
  3. nickname

    nickname New Member

    .......I do not have lupus, but my dear friend has. She was initially diagnosed with m.e. (c.f.s.) but then went on to develop swelling of the parotoid glands, which ultimatley led to her getting a diagnoses of lupus, but this final diagnosis came after several months of very, very extensive testing. She is being treated at the best lupus hospital the UK has, so we know that she is receiving the best of what is available, both with tests and treatment.

    She had had a million and one tests over the first year and I can't remember all of them, but they included ANA, anti ro, anti la, lip biopsy etc etc which were all negative. However, it was the DNA test that finally confirmed the diagnosis of lupus.

    One can actually have a negative or positive ANA in lupus, but certainly a positive should warrant further testing. She is also positive for the antiphospholipid syndrome, again common in lupus.

    Sorry can't help u more.

    best wishes
    nickname

    [This Message was Edited on 07/15/2003]
  4. cocoaa

    cocoaa New Member

    Thank you for your responses. I, too, feel that while I am in the beginning of trying to make sure that it is just fibromyalgia(I do NOT mean that in any way to diminish the fibro) along with the arthritis that I should at least get the test done to do all I can to pin it down. I found it interesting that one response said that someone had swelling in the parotid glands. What really started all this digging for answers after keeping track of my arthritis closely for the last couple years especially with sed rates every 3 months was that I've acquired asthma problems pretty strong in the last year, in January my sed rate went from a controlled 15-17 to 41 and came down with steroids but has stayed at 20-25 since instead of going back down, and it seems like the lymph glands in my neck are always swelling as well as under my right arm. My personal doctor is the one who asked more questions about the "pattern" of the ANA titer so I'm hoping that when I see her this Friday she will agree to running the Anti-DNA test.

    I guess I'm still just not accepting the diagnosis of fibro as well as I should and am having a hard time processing everything about this condition.

    Cocoaa
  5. nickname

    nickname New Member

    .......these are different 'glands.' Swelling in the parotoid gland is a sign of sjogrens syndrome, which can also be part of a lupus diagnosis, or a diagnosis on its own. I think that mumps affects the parotoid, but this is an acute infection, and something different.

    'Lymph glands' carry fluids around the body alongside the blood vessels, and can become swollen with infection such as EBV, CMV etc. The probem can also be due to the detox pathways of the liver being affected in c.f.s. (m.e.) This is part of a c.f.s. (m.e.) diagnostic criteria. Swollen parotoid is to do with SS and lupus. My friend with the lupus does not have swollen lymph, but I do with m.e. There are other posts on this board about swollen lymph glands which some of us have as part of our problem.

    Not a doc, but only part of what I have learnt in trying to help myself and friends all with these crummy illnesses.

    Best wishes
    nickname
    [This Message was Edited on 07/15/2003]
  6. Lynda B.

    Lynda B. New Member

    Usually there is a panel of tests that are run that help the doctor to start looking or discarding possibile diagnoses. It sounds like you have had some of these test. A positive ANA, in and of itself, does not mean you have Lupus. It can mean you have another type of autoimmunce problem (like the arthritis you mention) or other things. I think you are correct in being suspicious because it does not sound like all of this has been explained to you to your satisfaction. It sounds like you are asking yourself "is the doctor blaming the ANA titer on arthritis when something could be going on?) Legitimate question to me.

    My experience in the area of auto-immmunce diseases and disorders is that they are extremely difficult to pinpoint. There are all kinds of names for auto-immune disorders that include words like "mixed..." or "undefine" or "tendancies". So much of the auto-immune world is an art as much as it is a science. Be careful not to blame it all on the doctor. On the other hand, some docs just give you the run around because they can't give you a definitive answer and maybe their diagnostic skills are good or not so good. The best thing I ever did was get a second opinion.
    Because of the nature of this speciality, I would suggestion it. I do so hope you get some of the answers you want. I still have blood tests and other ANA test, etc. that show some things and not others and have never gotten any realy auto-innume diagnosis. Except, of course, for FMS, which they seem to diagnose quickly these days when there are no answers.

    Good luck and take care,

    Lynda B.