About six years ago, I began having an assortment of debilitating symptoms. (malar rash, raynaud's, arthritis, sunsensitivity, mouth sores, pos. ANA) A series of elevated ANAs led us down the road to consider a possible lupus diagnosis. Initially the ANA was anywhere from 1:160 to 1:2560 homogeneous pattern. Each time everything else was neg. Because steroid treatment brought relief, plaquinel was started July '08. Since then, symptoms have been better, with occasional flares treated with steroids. Everytime they test the ANA in these 5 years of being on plaquinel, it has been negative.
My question is: Could this be a possible lupus diagnosis, or should we pursue something else? Symptoms have resurfaced lately and it appears we are back at the drawing board trying to figure out what is going on. What else could've caused the ANA reading to be this high? Note: the highest reading was after I intentially spent time in the sun prior to my level being checked.
Generally a high ANA titre indicates an autoimmune disease (SLE, Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hepatitis, scleroderma, polymyositis, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, dermatomyositis, primary biliary cirrhosis, Addison disease, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, and type 1 diabetes mellitus). Mixed connective tissue disorders also cause a high ANA. The staining pattern is important.
Homogenous ANA staining pattern is very specific of lupus. If the ANA staining pattern is homogenous, then other tests which need to be done are Smith Antibody (Anti-Smith), Anti-dsDNA, and Anti-ssDNA. Other than that, yes, symptom wise, it does sound like lupus. Hope this helps. Take care!
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