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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Interpreting Elevated ANA and ESR Results

08/25/2009

Question:

Recently, I received bloodwork results indicating a high ESR of 54 and an ANA of 1:160 speckled. My doctor believes these markers could be a result of gallbladder surgery performed in May of this year. I`m curious to know if a surgical procedure could cause these elevated levels.

Also of note, I have been experiecing intermittent joint pain in both elbows and hands for several weeks.

Should I press my doctor to have further blood tests done? Thank you.

Answer:

ESR and ANA elevations may be reactive to a multitude of causes. However, if your symptoms persist at a time even further out from your surgery, then it would be reasonable to repeat the laboratories.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University