An ANA test detects antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in your blood. Your immune system normally makes antibodies to help you fight infection. In contrast, antinuclear antibodies often attack your body's own tissues — specifically targeting each cell's nucleus.
In most cases, a positive ANA test indicates that your immune system has launched a misdirected attack on your own tissue — in other words, an autoimmune reaction. But some people have positive ANA tests even when they're healthy.
Your doctor is likely to order an ANA test for a suspected autoimmune disease such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma.
Aug. 03, 2017
- Antinuclear antibodies (ANA). American College of Rheumatology. https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Antinuclear-Antibodies-ANAhttp://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Antinuclear_Antibodies_%28ANA%29/. Accessed June 7, 2017.
- Bloch DB. Measurement and clinical significance of antinuclear antibodies. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 7, 2017.