Doctor's Responses Archive

Viewer Question:

I recently had an ANA test and the results were 1:640 homogenous. Symptoms of tingling face, arms, extreme fatigue and muscle weakness. Should I contact a rheumatologist? Also, had double stranded DNA 2 years ago, it was negative.  Could this change and does that test confirm SLE?

Doctor's Response:

Antinuclear antibodies (ANA), are used by doctors as screening tests to detect the possible presence of an autoimmune condition. They may or may not necessarily be associated with such a condition. If your doctor is satisfied that your ANA has helped his/her adequately to evaluate your particular health status, then no other evaluations that may be required.

Rheumatologists are experts at searching for conditions that can be associated with ANAs.

Double-stranded DNA (ds - DNA) test values fluctuate and may become negative over time.

System Lupus Erythematosus is diagnosed primary based on the presence of multiple standard criteria - only one of which is the ds-DNA.

For more information, please visit these areas Antinuclear Antibody Test and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Thank you for your question.

Last Editorial Review: 2/3/2003

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