positive ANA test and lupus

Question

just got the resukts of ANA test and only got the following: ANA 160 ANA pattern homogeneous No symptoms age 65 female – all other blood tests normal Do I have Lupus? Could this be a false positive as I got a cold the night of the test?

Answer

Hi Dorothea,

A positive blood test never makes a diagnosis of lupus.  The positive ANA is still within the range of normal values, so it may be meaningless.  The ANA test always has to be interpreted in the context of the patient’s symptoms (if any) and physical examination and other laboratory and urine tests.  If you have no symptoms, then lupus is unlikely but then why was the test even obtained !!

Joan Bathon, M.D.

About Joan Bathon, M.D.

Dr. Bathon was a Co-Deputy Director of the Division of Rheumatology at Hopkins Bayview. She was also the founder and director of the Hopkins Arthritis Center.