Overview of Anti Nuclear Antibody-IFA
What is Anti Nuclear Antibody-IFA?
Preparation for Anti Nuclear Antibody-IFA
- No special preparation required
Why Get Tested for Anti Nuclear Antibody-IFA?
The Antinuclear Antibody Test is performed:
· To determine the presence of an autoimmune disease like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
· To evaluate the possible presence of autoimmune Connective Tissue Disorders (CTDs) other than SLE such as Polymyositis, Scleroderma, Sjögren's syndrome etc.
Understand more about Anti Nuclear Antibody-IFA
The immune system of the body is responsible for recognition of the body’s own cells and identification of foreign cells like pathogens which are then targeted and destroyed. Autoimmune disorders are conditions where the immune system of the body is unable to recognize certain cells as the body’s own cells and starts an immune response against them which results in their destruction. The recognition of ‘self’ and ‘non-self’ cells is mediated by certain proteins present on the surface of cells or inside them. When the immune system identifies a cell as foreign or ‘non-self’, it produces antibodies against these cells to destroy them. Antibodies produced in an autoimmune disease are called autoantibodies.
Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) are autoantibodies that are produced against protein markers present in the nucleus of certain cells of the body. They are produced in a number of autoimmune diseases but are most commonly produced in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
The Antinuclear Antibody Test can be performed either by Immunoassay method or Indirect Fluorescent Antibody (IFA) method to detect ANA in blood. Both these tests may be used by some laboratories together: the Immunoassay method to screen for the presence of antinuclear antibodies, and IFA method subsequently to confirm the positive or equivocal Immunoassay results.
What Results of Anti Nuclear Antibody-IFA mean?
The appearance of fluorescence is a positive result and indicates the presence of antinuclear antibodies.
The absence of fluorescence is a negative result and indicates the absence of antinuclear antibodies.
Positive results of IFA are expressed in two parts: as titers which are ratios that represent the highest dilution of the blood sample at which antinuclear antibodies were visible, and as the fluorescent pattern seen. Titer value indicates the amount of antinuclear antibodies in the blood, while the pattern of fluorescence indicates different autoimmune diseases.
Some common fluorescence patterns and autoimmune conditions associated with them include:
Homogenous or diffuse
SLE, drug-induced lupus, and mixed connective tissue disease
Scleroderma or Polymyositis
SLE, Sjögren syndrome, Scleroderma, Polymyositis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and mixed connective tissue disease
Centromere or peripheral
Scleroderma and CREST Syndrome (Calcinosis, Raynaud syndrome, Esophageal dysmotility, Sclerodactyly, Telangiectasia)
Patient Concerns about Anti Nuclear Antibody-IFA
Frequently Asked Questions about Anti Nuclear Antibody-IFA