What Is An ANA Test?
An antinuclear antibody test (ANA test) is a type of blood test that checks for certain types of antibodies in your body. This ANA blood test is also called an ANA or FANA (fluorescent antinuclear antibody) test.
Antibodies are proteins that are produced by your immune system to fight against bacteria, viruses, and other foreign germs. But sometimes, your immune system attacks the healthy cells of your body mistakenly. As a result, special antibodies are released and they are called “autoantibodies”. They kill your cells and tissues. Autoantibodies are pernicious for your joints, skin, muscles, and other parts of your body. They could be a sign of autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Scleroderma, and Sjogren’s syndrome. Some people with cancer or other diseases may test ANA positive. Sometimes, people with no underlying conditions can also be positive.
The cost of the ANA blood test is Rs.500 to Rs.1200, depending on your location and place.
Please check the price of the ANA test in Delhi/NCR, your nearby centers and other details.
|Also known as||Antinuclear Antibody Panel, Fluorescent Antinuclear Antibody, FANA, ANA|
|Amylase test includes||To check autoantibodies in your blood|
|Preparation||You don’t need any special preparations for this test. Inform your doctor if you are taking medications like aspirin, opiates, diuretics, etc.|
|Reporting||Within 24 hrs|
|Test price||The cost of the ANA blood test is Rs.500 to Rs.1200, depending on your location and place.|
|Also included in||Health Insurance Plans|
|Related tests||ENA, anti-histone test|
Why do you need to perform this test?
Your doctor might recommend this test if you have symptoms of autoimmune diseases. These diseases could be,
- Joint and muscle pain, including stiffness or swelling
- Prolonged fever
- Red rashes on cheeks and nose
- Hair loss
- Tingling or numbness
Preparation for this ANA Test
Though you don’t need any special preparations for this test, still inform your doctor if you are taking medicines, vitamins and supplements you take. All these may hamper your ANA test results.
The Test Procedure
- An experienced lab technician or nurse will collect your blood sample generally from a vein in your arm.
- The person will put on an elastic band on your upper arm to make the vein more prominent.
- He will clean the area and insert a needle into your vein
- The person will collect your blood sample into a vial or tube
- After taking the sample, the needle and band will be removed
- The technician will place a piece of gauze and a bandage on the puncture site
- The blood sample will be sent to the laboratory for further testing.
The entire process takes 5-10 minutes.
The Interpretation of the Result
If you have antinuclear antibodies in your blood, then the test result will become positive. A negative result means you don’t have any antinuclear antibodies. A positive test doesn’t imply that you are having an autoimmune condition. Nearly 3-15% of people with no conditions have antinuclear antibodies. You may become positive due to some medicines or other diseases.
Not everyone who is having an autoimmune disease will test positive. Thus, an ANA blood test is just a part of your autoimmune disease diagnosis. After doing physical exams and monitoring your conditions, your doctor may recommend some other tests. A positive ANA test includes
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Sjögren’s syndrome (a disease that is responsible for dry eyes and mouth)
- Scleroderma (a connective tissue disease)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (a disease that causes joint damage and inflammation)
- Polymyositis (a disease that causes muscle weakness)
- Lupus and scleroderma
- Juvenile chronic arthritis (a type of autoimmune arthritis that attacks children)
- Dermatomyositis (a rare condition that weakens your muscle)
- Autoimmune hepatitis
The ANA test could also become positive if you have one of these conditions:
- Raynaud’s syndrome ( a disease that causes blue-colored fingers and toes)
- Thyroid diseases, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and Grave’s disease
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis
- Viral infections
Nearly 20% of people test positive for antinuclear antibodies, but they don’t have any autoimmune diseases. You may get a positive result if you:
- Are a woman of 65 years or above
- Have an infection or tuberculosis
- Taking blood pressure or anti-seizure medications
What are the side effects of this ANA test?
The risks are minimal with blood tests. But sometimes, you may experience symptoms like
Dizziness or fainting
What other tests your doctor will recommend along with an ANA test?
If you test positive, then your doctor may refer to other below-mentioned tests.
An anti-centromere test diagnoses scleroderma
An anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) test to diagnose lupus
An anti-histone test to diagnose lupus
An ENA panel to identify which auto-immune disease you have
What should you do before an ANA test?
Though you don’t need any special preparations like fasting before the test, still, ask your doctor about the same.
Can you have a positive ANA and not have an autoimmune disease?
Nearly 15% of completely healthy people have a positive ANA test without any autoimmune diseases.
Can vitamin D deficiency cause positive ANA?
Vitamin D deficiency may trigger your immune dysregulation and influence the production of autoantibodies, particularly, antinuclear antibodies (ANA).