Thanks so much for your answers - and you specially? Howie - I didin't mean to make you work so hard - milles merci :)
Hi Bea! No biology wiz here... ("Don't know much about biology" as Sam Cooke sang). You made me really work on this one! But maybe, just maybe there is some useful info that might clarify what all these big, fancy names are! ;-)
Echoing what Meki said, it appears that many of these test results could be be related to liver disease and hep in some manner.
* Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) – from WebMD
An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test measures the amount and pattern of antibodies in your blood that work against your own body (autoimmune).
The body's immune system normally attacks and destroys foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. However, in disorders known as autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks and destroys the body's normal tissues. When a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune system produces antibodies that attach to the body's own cells as though they were foreign substances, often causing them to be damaged or destroyed. Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus are examples of autoimmune diseases.
A high ANA titer may be caused by: Liver disease, such as hepatitis
* Rheumatoid Factor (RF) – from WebMD
A rheumatoid factor (RF) blood test measures the amount of the RF antibody present in the blood. Normally, antibodies are produced by the immune system to help destroy and eliminate invading bacteria and viruses that can cause disease. However, the RF antibody can attach to normal body tissue, resulting in damage.
A high level of rheumatoid factor can be caused by several autoimmune diseases (including rheumatoid arthritis) and some severe infections. Occasionally an elevated level of RF is present in healthy people.
The amount of rheumatoid factor in blood can be measured in two ways:
· Agglutination tests. One test method mixes blood with tiny rubber (latex) beads that are covered with human antibodies. If RF is present, the latex beads clump together (agglutinate). This method is best used as a first-time screening test for rheumatoid arthritis. Another agglutination test mixes the blood being tested with a sheep's red blood cells that have been covered with rabbit antibodies. If RF is present, the red blood cells clump together. This method is often used to confirm the presence of RF.
· Nephelometry test. This test mixes the blood being tested with antibodies that cause the blood to clump if RF is present. A laser light is shined on the tube containing the mixture and the amount of light blocked by the blood sample is measured. As levels of RF increase, more clumping occurs, causing a cloudier sample and less light to pass through the tube.
Why It Is Done
A test for rheumatoid factor is done to help support a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
High RF levels may be caused by:
· Rheumatoid arthritis. This is the most common reason for a rheumatoid factor (RF) level greater than 43 and a titer greater than 1:20–1:40.
· Liver diseases, such as cirrhosis and chronic active hepatitis.
* Alpha2-Macroglobulin (alpha2M) - is a major serum protein with diverse functions, including inhibition of protease activity and binding of growth factors, cytokines, and disease factors (1). Increased serum alpha2M has been suggested to be associate with multiple sclerosis (MS) (2); glomerular disease (3), and with liver diseases (4).
Decreased haptoglobin may be associated with low level intravascular hemolysis. Hemolysis: The destruction of red blood cells which leads to the release of hemoglobin from within the red blood cells into the blood plasma.
Decreased to absent levels occur more with intravascular than extravascular hemolysis: haptoglobin binds hemoglobin, and carries it to the reticuloendothelial system. Thus, haptoglobin is useful in work-up for hemolytic states. It is low in the megaloblastic anemias, which have a hemolytic component. It is decreased in infectious mononucleosis. Decreases can occur with hematoma or tissue hemorrhage.
Haptoglobin can be low with liver disease. Congenital absence occurs (small fraction of Blacks/Orientals have ahaptoglobinemia, absence of detectable haptoglobin). Frequently elevated as an acute phase reactant, in inflammatory disorders (eg, collagen diseases, infections, tissue destruction, and with advanced malignant neoplasms).1
Blood (Serum) Glutamate Pyruvate Transaminase (SGPT) Test
* What is the SGPT test?
This test measures the amount of an enzyme called glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) in your blood. This enzyme is found in many body tissues in small amounts, but it is very concentrated in the liver. It is released into the blood when cells that contain it are damaged. This enzyme is also called alanine transaminase, or ALT.
Why is this test done?
The GPT level is tested to look for and evaluate damage to the liver. It is also measured to check medical treatments that may lead to liver inflammation.
No medical problems are known to cause an SGPT level that is lower than normal. Sometimes the test result may be lower than normal but it does not signify a problem.
Full text coming your way.
I hope this helps at least a little. ;-)
High rheumatoid factors are very common in HCV patients. Some are much higher than others and are only a marker for possible Rheumatoid Arthritis.
ANA is a marker for arthritis or swelling/inflammation.
The rest - I do not know enough to tell you about.
Much luck bea.