What's the Difference Between ENA vs. ANA Tests?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

Ask the experts

My eye surgeon requested that a ANA screen be run for sjogren's which my family practicioner said I have. Blood was sent it to Mayo. They ran a Anti-ENA screen. The surgeon was looking for SSA and SSB results. The test came back 4.3 for the ENA. Is this the same as an ANA screen? If not how does it differ? I am now supposed to go to a rhumatologist and he is going to run the same tests. This is getting expensive. Will an ENA take the place of an ANA?

Doctor's response

There are many types of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs). One class of ANAs react with cell components that are extractable from the nucleus in a certain solution in the lab. These are also referred to as extractable nuclear antigens. The ANA antibodies that bind to these ENAs are called anti-ENAs. Examples of anti-ENAs include SSA and SSB antibodies as well as RNP and Sm antibodies.

The ENA screen does not "take the place" of an ANA screen. Rather, ENA antibodies are subsets of ANAs. Sjogren's syndrome is commonly associated with SSA and/or SSB antibodies. These antibodies can also be present with other rheumatic conditions.


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