|Explaining The ANA Blood Test Normal Range|
|Sunday, 23 January 2011 11:24|
Before knowing what is the ANA blood test normal range and the blood test results meaning, let us discuss what ANA means. ANA is the abbreviation for the term Anti Nuclear Antibody. An ANA blood test is done in order to determine the presence of anti-nuclear antibodies in your blood. Antibodies are nothing but the proteins that help to fight against infections due to attack of viruses and bacterias. However, due to a confusion or misdirection, the immune system of your body may end up producing anti-nuclear antibodies that may end up attacking the healthy tissues of your own body! This is known as an autoimmune reaction. The presence of these anti-nuclear antibodies can be detected by the ANA blood test and may indicate the presence of an autoimmune disease in the body. Some of these diseases include;
Why is ANA Blood Test Done?
An ANA blood test will be suggested by your health care specialist if you show symptoms of having an autoimmune diseases like those mentioned above. The symptoms may include pain in the joints, fatigue, fever, hair loss and red rashes all over body. The test will be highly recommended if you have a medical history in the family for having an autoimmune disease. However, a point to be kept in mind is that the ANA test cannot identify the specific disease, it can only tell if there are anti-nuclear antibodies present in the blood.
How is the ANA Blood Test Done?
You don't need to fast before taking this blood test, however, many a times your doctor may use the same blood sample to take additional tests. If that is the case, he/she may advice you to fast before the test. Keep in mind that there are certain drugs as well that can influence the ANA levels in the blood and can make the results positive. So it would be better to inform your doctor about the drugs and medications you are using before hand. Below mentioned are the steps of how an ANA blood test is taken.
Reading Blood Test Results: Explanation
The result is defined either as negative or positive ANA blood test results and is measured in 'titer'. A 'titer' is the term which shows the amount of blood sample diluted in order to be able to not detect the activities of the antibodies. The results are shown in ratios. Say that your ANA blood test results show a titer of 1:80. This means that 1 part of blood sample was diluted with 80 parts of salt solution before the antibodies activities were no longer detected!
The ANA blood test normal range varies from laboratory to laboratory. However, an ANA test result which is less than or equal to 1:40 is considered to be negative and is not a cause of concern. But if the titer is more than 1:40, then this might be something to be concerned about. Usually doctors get highly concerned if the ANA test results are more than 1:80.
It is important to note that the ANA test results are usually positive in people who are more than 65 years of age. If that is the case, then it shouldn't be something to worry about. Your doctor may advice some additional tests to determine the exact cause of high ANA in your blood, as this test cannot diagnose the specific disease as such. However, the ANA blood test normal range helps the doctor to narrow the possibilities of many suspected ailments.
Source: Bhatti, S. (2011), "ANA Blood Test Normal Range"; original article can be viewed here.