The presence of any antinuclear antibodies is a positive test result. But having a positive result doesn't mean you have a disease. Many people with no disease have positive ANA tests — particularly women older than 65.
Mononucleosis is one type of infection that has been associated with the development of antinuclear antibodies. Some blood pressure lowering drugs and certain anti-seizure medications may trigger antinuclear antibody formation as well.
If your doctor suspects you have an autoimmune disease, he or she is likely to order a number of tests. The result of your ANA test is one piece of information your doctor can use to help determine the cause of your signs and symptoms.
Aug. 31, 2011
- Arend WP, et al. Laboratory evaluation of systemic inflammatory disease. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed June 21, 2011.
- Reichlin M. Measurement and clinical significance of antinuclear antibodies. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 21, 2011.
- Tassiulas IO, et al. Clinical features and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus: Diagnostic tests. In: Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1807/0.html. Accessed June 21, 2011.