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Lupus

Anti-nuclear antibody test

03/21/2002

Question:

My ANA test showed 80 and was speckled; my sister was tested a year ago with a 120. Should I follow up with a physician? I have been intermitent and sometimes severe pain in the joints of my elbows, hips, and occasionally knees. Most of my pain is on the right side.

Answer:

A positive antinuclear antibody test ALONE does not make the diagnosis of SLE. At present, we do not have a good test to make the diagnosis of SLE, and we rely on the constellation of symptoms and signs to make the diagnosis.

A visit to physician for your joint pain should be helpful. A large number of conditions affect the joints including self-limiting episodes of joint pains, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, osteoarthritis, viral infections, and so on.

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Response by:

Ram Raj   Singh, MD Ram Raj Singh, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati