ANCA Vasculitides

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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: ANCA, ANCA Panel for Vasculitis, Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies, Serum

Myeloperoxidase Antibody

Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) are a group of autoantibodies produced when a person's immune system mistakenly targets and attacks its own neutrophil proteins. Two of the most commonly targeted proteins are myeloperoxidase (MPO) and proteinase 3 (PR3). This results in the production of antibodies to MPO and/or PR3. The ANCA blood test detects the presence or absence of these autoantibodies. Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies may be present in a variety of autoimmune disorders that cause inflammation and damage to blood vessels throughout the body (systemic vasculitis). Vasculitis can cause tissue and organ damage due to the narrowing and obstruction of blood vessels and the subsequent loss of blood supply. It can also produce areas of weakness in blood vessel walls, known as aneurysms, which have the potential to rupture.

Proteinase-3 Antibody

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The ANCA Vasculitides test contains 1 test with 2 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The ANCA (Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies) Vasculitides test identifies the presence of autoantibodies in the blood that target proteins found in the cytoplasm of neutrophil granulocytes, a type of white blood cell. These autoantibodies are associated with certain forms of vasculitis, a group of disorders characterized by the inflammation and damage of blood vessels. The test is typically comprised of two main types: c-ANCA (cytoplasmic) and p-ANCA (perinuclear).

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why an ANCA Vasculitides Test May Be Ordered

A healthcare provider may order an ANCA Vasculitides test when a patient presents symptoms consistent with systemic vasculitis. These symptoms might include fatigue, fever, weight loss, joint pain, sinus inflammation, cough, shortness of breath, skin lesions, or renal impairment. The test aids in diagnosing and differentiating between various types of vasculitides and helps determine the extent and severity of the disease.

What an ANCA Vasculitides Test Checks For

The ANCA Vasculitides test detects autoantibodies that target specific proteins in neutrophils:

  1. c-ANCA with proteinase-3 (PR3) specificity: Usually associated with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (previously known as Wegener's granulomatosis).
  2. p-ANCA with myeloperoxidase (MPO) specificity: Typically found in patients with microscopic polyangiitis, eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (previously Churg-Strauss syndrome), or drug-induced vasculitis.

Other Lab Tests Ordered Alongside an ANCA Vasculitides Test

When an ANCA Vasculitides test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of suspected vasculitis or related autoimmune conditions. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential:

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for signs of infection, inflammation, or anemia, which are common in autoimmune conditions like vasculitis.
  2. Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and C-Reactive Protein (CRP):

    • Purpose: To measure markers of inflammation in the body.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Both are commonly elevated in vasculitis, indicating active inflammation.
  3. Renal Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess kidney function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Vasculitis can affect the kidneys, leading to impaired renal function.
  4. Urinalysis:

    • Purpose: To detect abnormalities in the urine.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To look for proteinuria or hematuria, which may indicate kidney involvement in vasculitis.
  5. Liver Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess liver health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate liver function and rule out liver disease, which can sometimes present with similar symptoms to vasculitis.
  6. Antibody Tests for Other Autoimmune Disorders:

    • Purpose: To check for antibodies associated with other autoimmune conditions (e.g., ANA for lupus, rheumatoid factor for rheumatoid arthritis).
    • Why Is It Ordered: To differentiate between various autoimmune disorders that might have overlapping symptoms with vasculitis.

These tests, when ordered alongside an ANCA Vasculitides test, provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suspected vasculitis and help in diagnosing and managing the condition. They are crucial for assessing the extent of organ involvement, ruling out other conditions with similar presentations, and guiding treatment decisions. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s clinical presentation, symptoms, and the organs affected.

Conditions or Diseases Requiring an ANCA Vasculitides Test

The ANCA Vasculitides test can be beneficial in diagnosing:

  1. Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Wegener's Granulomatosis): A condition causing inflammation of the blood vessels in the nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and kidneys.
  2. Microscopic Polyangiitis: Affects capillaries, venules, and arterioles and can harm kidneys and lungs.
  3. Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss Syndrome): Affects small to medium-sized blood vessels and often involves the lungs.

How Health Care Providers Use the Results of an ANCA Vasculitides Test

A positive ANCA Vasculitides test suggests a patient may have an ANCA-associated vasculitis, but it is not definitive on its own. The pattern and specificity (c-ANCA with PR3 or p-ANCA with MPO) can help differentiate between types of vasculitides. The results are combined with clinical findings, other laboratory results, and sometimes tissue biopsy to make a diagnosis. If ANCA levels are initially high and then decrease with treatment, it might indicate that the treatment is effective. On the other hand, increasing levels might suggest a relapse or that treatment isn't working.

Most Common Questions About the ANCA Vasculitides test:

Purpose and Clinical Indications

Why is the ANCA Vasculitides test performed?

The ANCA Vasculitides test is used to detect the presence of Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies (ANCA) in the blood. These antibodies target proteins found in neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) and are associated with several forms of vasculitis, inflammatory conditions that affect blood vessels.

What clinical conditions can the ANCA Vasculitides test help diagnose?

The ANCA Vasculitides test can aid in diagnosing conditions such as granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener's granulomatosis), microscopic polyangiitis, and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Churg-Strauss syndrome). These are rare but serious autoimmune conditions in which blood vessels become inflamed, potentially affecting various organs and systems in the body.

Interpretation of Results

What do positive results in the ANCA Vasculitides test indicate?

A positive ANCA Vasculitides test indicates the presence of ANCA in the blood. These antibodies can be associated with certain types of vasculitis. However, a positive result does not conclusively establish a diagnosis but suggests that vasculitis or another related condition may be present. Further clinical assessment and additional tests are usually necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Are there different types of ANCA, and how are they significant in the ANCA Vasculitides test?

Yes, there are mainly two types of ANCA: c-ANCA (cytoplasmic) and p-ANCA (perinuclear). c-ANCA typically targets a protein called PR3, and its presence is often associated with granulomatosis with polyangiitis. In contrast, p-ANCA targets a protein called MPO and is frequently seen in conditions like microscopic polyangiitis. The pattern and target protein identified can give clues about the type of vasculitis a patient might have.

Clinical Implications

Is the ANCA Vasculitides test used as a standalone diagnostic tool?

No, the ANCA Vasculitides test is not typically used as a standalone diagnostic tool. While it can indicate the presence of antibodies associated with vasculitis, other clinical findings, patient symptoms, and further tests are essential to make a definitive diagnosis. The test is often used in conjunction with other clinical information to either support or rule out a diagnosis of vasculitis.

What other tests might be conducted alongside the ANCA Vasculitides test?

Additional tests that might be ordered alongside the ANCA Vasculitides test include a complete blood count (CBC), urinalysis, imaging studies (like X-rays or CT scans), and possibly tissue biopsy, especially if an organ is believed to be affected by vasculitis. These tests can provide a more comprehensive picture of the patient's health and the extent of any inflammation or damage.

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

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