ANA reports include a titer (number) and a pattern.
Titer tells how many times the technician had to dilute
plasma from the patient's blood
to get a sample free of anti-
nuclear antibodies. Each dilution involves doubling
amount of test fluid.
The test can even be weakly positive in about 20% of
healthy individuals. While a few
of these healthy people
may eventually develop lupus symptoms, the
never develop any signs of lupus or related conditions. The
chances of a person having a positive ANA test also
increases as he or she ages.
So a titer of 1:640 shows a greater concentration of anti-
nuclear antibodies than a titer
of 1:320 or 1:160. A titer
ABOVE 1:80 is usually considered
positive. 1:80 normal
and 1:160 borderline in most laboratory
The ANA titers go up and down during the course of
disease, and a high or low titer
does not necessarily mean
the disease is more or less active.
So, it is not always
possible to determine the severity of disease from
The homogeneous (smooth) pattern is found in a variety
of connective tissue diseases
(...A heterogeneous group of
diseases characterized by abnormal
structure. In general
terms tissues that may be more or less specialized.
and bone are specialized connective tissue, as is blood,
but often the ter is reserved for the less specialized tissue
that is rich in extracellular
matrix (collagen, proteoglycan
etc.) and that surrounds other more highly ordered
and organs - the rheumatic diseases. See MiLady's Knight's
Construction FAQ's for more information on rheumatic
diseases.) as well as in patients
taking particular drugs.
The speckled pattern is found in SLE and other
connective tissue diseases, while
the peripheral (or rim)
pattern is found almost exclusively
The nucleolar (a pattern with a few large spots) pattern
is found primarily in patients who have scleroderma.
From iVillageHealth Library
University of Newcastle upon Tyne Medical Dictionary