ANA Screen IFA with Reflex to Titer and Pattern Most Popular

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: ANA, ANA Screen IFA with Reflex to Titer and Pattern IFA, ANA with Reflux

ANA Screen, IFA

The antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is ordered to help screen for autoimmune disorders and is most often used as one of the tests to diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
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The ANA Screen IFA with Reflex to Titer and Pattern test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The ANA Screen IFA with Reflex to Titer and Pattern test is a laboratory test that helps evaluate the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) in the blood. ANAs are autoantibodies that target the body's own cell nuclei, and their detection can indicate the presence of autoimmune diseases.

Also Known As: ANA Test, ANA Screen IFA with Reflex to Titer and pattern IFA Test, ANA with Reflex Test, Antinuclear Antibody Screen Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

IMPORTANT Reflex Information: If ANA Screen, IFA is positive, then ANA Titer and Pattern will be performed at an additional charge of $24.95

When is an ANA Screen test ordered?

An ANA Screen IFA with Reflex to Titer and Pattern test may be ordered in the following situations:

  1. Evaluation of Autoimmune Disorders: When a patient exhibits signs and symptoms suggestive of an autoimmune disease, such as joint pain, fatigue, rash, or inflammation, an ANA test is often performed as an initial screening tool.

  2. Monitoring Disease Activity: For individuals with diagnosed autoimmune conditions, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or Sjögren's syndrome, periodic monitoring of ANA levels can help assess disease activity and treatment response.

  3. Rule Out Autoimmune Causes: An ANA test may also be ordered to investigate the possibility of an autoimmune component in certain non-specific symptoms or when multiple autoimmune diseases are suspected.

What does an ANA Screen blood test check for?

Antinuclear antibodies are a type of antibody produced by the immune system when it is unable to differentiate between its own cells and foreign cells. Autoantibodies are antibodies that attack the body's own healthy cells, causing symptoms like tissue and organ inflammation, joint and muscle discomfort, and weariness. The moniker "antinuclear" comes from the fact that ANA specifically targets chemicals located in a cell's nucleus. The presence of these autoantibodies in the blood is detected by the ANA test.

The presence of ANA may be a sign of an autoimmune process, and it has been linked to a variety of autoimmune illnesses, the most common of which being systemic lupus erythematosus.

One of the most common tests used to detect an autoimmune disorder or rule out other conditions with comparable signs and symptoms is the ANA test. As a result, it's frequently followed by other autoantibody tests that can help establish a diagnosis. An ENA panel, anti-dsDNA, anti-centromere, and/or anti-histone test are examples of these.

Lab tests often ordered with an ANA Screen test:

When an ANA test is ordered, it's typically part of a broader evaluation for autoimmune disease. Several other tests are commonly ordered alongside it:


  1. dsDNA (Double-Stranded DNA Antibody):

    • Purpose: To detect antibodies against double-stranded DNA, which are highly specific for SLE.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To aid in the diagnosis of SLE and to monitor disease activity in patients with known SLE.
  2. Rheumatoid Factor (RF) and Anti-CCP (Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibody):

    • Purpose: RF and Anti-CCP are specific markers of rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To differentiate rheumatoid arthritis from other rheumatic diseases, particularly when joint symptoms are present.
  3. Complement Levels (C3 and C4):

    • Purpose: To measure the levels of complement proteins, which are part of the immune system and can be consumed during active autoimmune diseases.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Low complement levels can be seen in active SLE and other autoimmune disorders.
  4. ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) and CRP (C-Reactive Protein):

    • Purpose: Both are markers of inflammation in the body.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess the presence and level of inflammation, which can accompany autoimmune diseases.
  5. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: Provides a broad picture of overall health, including red and white blood cells and platelets.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To detect anemia, leukopenia, or thrombocytopenia, which can occur in autoimmune diseases.
  6. Kidney and Liver Function Tests:

    • Purpose: To assess the health of the kidneys and liver.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Autoimmune diseases can affect these organs, and baseline function tests are important for ongoing monitoring.
  7. Urinalysis:

    • Purpose: To examine the content of the urine.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for proteinuria or hematuria, which can indicate kidney involvement in autoimmune diseases.

These tests, when ordered alongside an ANA Screen IFA with Reflex to Titer and Pattern, provide a comprehensive view of the immune system's activity and help in diagnosing, classifying, and managing autoimmune diseases. They are essential for understanding the extent of the disease, monitoring organ involvement, and guiding treatment. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s symptoms, clinical history, and the results of the initial ANA test.

Conditions where an ANA Screen test is recommended:

An ANA Screen IFA with Reflex to Titer and Pattern test may be required for the evaluation of the following conditions or diseases:

  1. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): The ANA test is a crucial tool in diagnosing SLE, as the majority of individuals with SLE have positive ANA results.

  2. Sjögren's Syndrome: ANA testing is often performed to aid in the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune condition that primarily affects the salivary and tear glands.

  3. Other Autoimmune Diseases: ANA testing may be useful in assessing other autoimmune diseases such as systemic sclerosis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

How does my healthcare provider use an ANA Screen test?

Healthcare providers use the results of the ANA Screen IFA with Reflex to Titer and Pattern test to:

  1. Assist in Diagnosing Autoimmune Diseases: Positive ANA results, along with specific clinical symptoms and additional diagnostic tests, aid in the diagnosis of various autoimmune diseases.

  2. Monitor Disease Activity: Serial monitoring of ANA levels can provide insights into disease activity and treatment response in individuals with known autoimmune conditions.

  3. Guide Further Testing: The ANA pattern observed in the test can help direct additional autoantibody testing to narrow down the diagnosis of specific autoimmune diseases.

It's important to note that while a positive ANA result suggests the presence of autoantibodies, it does not provide a definitive diagnosis for a specific autoimmune disease. Further evaluation, including a comprehensive medical history, physical examination, and additional laboratory and imaging tests, is often necessary for a comprehensive diagnosis and appropriate management plan. The interpretation of ANA test results should be done in consultation with a healthcare provider familiar with the patient's clinical context.

What do my ANA test results mean?

A positive ANA test indicates the presence of autoantibodies. This shows the presence of an autoimmune disease in someone who has signs and symptoms, but more testing is needed to make a definitive diagnosis.

Because ANA test results can be positive in persons who have no known autoimmune disease, they must be carefully assessed in conjunction with a person's indications and symptoms.

Because an ANA test can become positive before signs and symptoms of an autoimmune disease appear, determining the meaning of a positive ANA in a person who has no symptoms can take some time.

SLE is unlikely to be diagnosed with a negative ANA result. It is normally not required to repeat a negative ANA test right away; however, because autoimmune illnesses are episodic, it may be desirable to repeat the ANA test at a later date if symptoms persist.

Most Common Questions About the ANA Screen test:

Understanding the ANA Screen Test and Its Purpose

What is the ANA Screen test?

The ANA (Antinuclear Antibodies) Screen test is a blood test used to detect autoantibodies that target substances within the nucleus of cells. These autoantibodies can be found in numerous autoimmune diseases.

What does the ANA Screen test help to diagnose?

The ANA Screen test helps to diagnose autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren's syndrome. It's often one of the first tests ordered when an autoimmune disorder is suspected.

Who might need an ANA Screen test?

Individuals with symptoms suggesting an autoimmune disease might need an ANA Screen test. These symptoms may include fatigue, fever, joint pain and swelling, skin rashes, dry eyes, and dry mouth.

Interpreting Test Results and Abnormal Findings

How are the results of an ANA Screen test presented?

Results of an ANA Screen test are typically reported as a titer, which represents how much the blood sample can be diluted before ANAs can no longer be detected. The test is also reported as positive or negative.

What could a positive ANA Screen test indicate?

A positive ANA Screen test indicates the presence of antinuclear antibodies, which suggests an autoimmune disease. However, the test does not specify which autoimmune disease a person may have, nor does a positive result confirm an autoimmune disease.

What could a negative ANA Screen test indicate?

A negative ANA Screen test indicates that antinuclear antibodies were not detected in the blood at the time of testing. This generally means that an autoimmune disease is less likely.

Discussion with Healthcare Provider and Relationship with Other Tests

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider after receiving my ANA Screen test results?

After receiving your ANA Screen test results, discuss what the results might mean, whether additional testing is necessary, and if there are any implications for your health. If the results were positive, you might need to discuss further diagnostic tests for autoimmune diseases.

How does the ANA Screen test relate to other autoimmune disease tests?

The ANA Screen test is often used as a starting point when diagnosing autoimmune diseases. If ANAs are detected, more specific tests may be performed to identify which particular autoantibodies are present, helping to diagnose specific autoimmune diseases.

What other tests might be ordered if my ANA Screen test is positive?

If your ANA Screen test is positive, your healthcare provider may order more specific autoantibody tests, such as anti-dsDNA or anti-Sm for lupus, or anti-SSA and anti-SSB for Sjogren's syndrome.

Understanding the Implications and Health Impact

What are antinuclear antibodies and why are they important?

Antinuclear antibodies are autoantibodies that target components inside the cell nucleus. They are important because their presence can indicate an autoimmune process, where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells.

What symptoms might be seen with a positive ANA Screen test?

Symptoms seen with a positive ANA Screen test can vary greatly as they correspond to a variety of autoimmune diseases. These might include fatigue, joint pain, skin rash, dry eyes or mouth, and organ-specific symptoms depending on the affected area.

What health conditions can cause a positive ANA Screen test?

Health conditions that can cause a positive ANA Screen test include various autoimmune diseases like lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma. However, some infections, cancers, and use of certain drugs can also cause a positive ANA.

Risk Factors, Prevention, and Treatment

What factors might increase my risk of having a positive ANA Screen test?

Factors that might increase your risk of having a positive ANA Screen test include having a family history of autoimmune disease, being female (as many autoimmune diseases are more common in women), or having been exposed to certain environmental triggers like infections or toxins.

Can lifestyle changes influence the results of an ANA Screen test?

Lifestyle changes do not directly influence the results of an ANA Screen test, as the presence of ANAs is related to immune function rather than lifestyle. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life in people with autoimmune diseases.

How are conditions associated with a positive ANA Screen test treated?

Conditions associated with a positive ANA Screen test are usually treated by managing symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease. This might include anti-inflammatory medications, immunosuppressants, lifestyle modifications, and treatment of any organ-specific issues.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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