Is There a Connection Between Positive ANA and Miscarriage?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I have had recurrent miscarriages. I just found out my ANA level was abnormal. Is there a connection and do I have a disease?

Doctor's response

It is not possible to determine whether or not you have a disease from this information.

There is a connection between ANAs (antinuclear antibodies) and recurrent miscarriages. ANAs suggest the possibility of autoimmune diseases. One of the most well-known autoimmune diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) is associated with ANAs in 95% of patients. Women with lupus that become pregnant have a 15% risk of loss of pregnancy. Another autoimmune condition that is associated with both recurrent miscarriages and ANAs is the anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome. Women with this syndrome produce phospholipid antibodies (such as anticardiolipin antibody and lupus anticoagulant) that increase the risk of premature miscarriage. Women with recurrent miscarriages should be tested for phospholipid antibodies.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018