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ANA Screen, IFA, with Reflex to Titer and Pattern Blood Test

The ANA Screen, IFA, Blood Test, with Reflex to Titer and Pattern detects antinuclear antibodies in the blood to screen for autoimmune disorders.

Sample Report

Test Code: 164947

CPT Code: 86038

Also Known As: ANA-Hep2, FANA ; ANA Titer, Fluorescent Antinuclear Antibody; Antinuclear Antibodies IFA (ANA-IFA) Blood Test

Methodology:

Indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA)

Preparation:

No special preparation is required.

Test Results:

2-3 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

Sample Report

Test Code: 249

CPT Code: 86038

Also Known As: ANA-Hep2, FANA ; ANA Titer, Fluorescent Antinuclear Antibody; Antinuclear Antibodies IFA (ANA-IFA) Blood Test

Methodology:

Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA)

Preparation:

No special preparation is required.

Test Results:

4-5 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

Description

What is the purpose of this test?

Order this ANA Screen, IFA, Blood Test, with Reflex to Titer and Pattern to detect antinuclear antibodies in the blood and assist in diagnosing autoimmune disorders. ANA is a type of antibody, commonly referred to as an autoantibody, produced by the immune system. However, unlike other antibodies that protect the body from infections like viruses or bacteria, autoantibodies mistakenly cause the immune system to attack itself. 

 

These antibodies are called "antinuclear" because they target the nucleus of healthy cells. The cell's control center is the nucleus, transmitting signals that activate essential cell functions. Unfortunately, ANAs recognize normal proteins found in the nucleus as foreign and harmful, triggering inflammation in which the body begins to attack itself. Although most individuals have a small number of autoantibodies in their blood, levels of ANAs often increase with age. According to recent studies, one-third of healthy individuals 65 years or older may test positive for ANAs. When large amounts of autoantibodies are detected, it may indicate an autoimmune disorder.

 

Individuals may order an ANA-IFA Blood Test to assist in diagnosing autoimmune disorders, including:

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Polymyositis and dermatomyositis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Raynaud's phenomenon
  • Drug-induced lupus
  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Autoimmune hepatitis

 

When should I order an ANA-IFA Blood Test?

Individuals may order an ANA-IFA Blood Test if they have experienced symptoms associated with an autoimmune disorder. Common symptoms of autoimmune disorders include:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation or joint pain and swelling
  • Muscle pain
  • Abdominal pain or digestive issues
  • Swollen glands

 

What do the results mean?

A negative ANA result may indicate that autoantibodies were not detected in the individual's blood and an autoimmune disorder is unlikely. In contrast, a positive ANA result may suggest that autoantibodies were seen in a patient's blood sample.

 

However, it should be noted that positive ANA results do not always indicate that an individual has an autoimmune disorder. ANA production can also be related to a viral infection, certain medications, and other health conditions such as cancer. Therefore, healthcare providers evaluate a patient's ANA test results, symptoms, physical exams, and other lab tests to screen for an autoimmune disorder.

 

This ANA-IFA Blood Test also includes an antibody titer test, which measures the number of antibodies in the blood and reports it as a ratio, such as 1:160. The reference range indicates the minimum titer ratio that is regarded as a positive result, and this range may vary between labs. Additionally, this test reports the staining patterns produced by the antibodies. 

 

While the patterns cannot diagnose a health condition conclusively, particular patterns may be associated with certain diseases. These patterns may also assist healthcare providers in determining the type of ANA present in an individual's blood and indicate if additional testing is required. The most commonly reported patterns include:

  • Homogenous
  • Speckled
  • Centromere
  • Nucleolar

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