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The ANA test/Lupus Band test - Questionable??

908 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Katharine
My ana was low positive at 1:40 speckled, 4 years ago and they did not diagnose me with lupus even though I was suffering with aching muscles, joints, had pleurisy once, got finger infections and had what the doctor thought was rosacea on my face with a negative lupus band test. Now I have been diagnosed with lupus (last week) with the same lab result on my ana (1:40)but this time I had the butterfly rash on my face in the form of hyperpigmentation and of course all the aching joints etc. Does that make sense? Is ana positive at 1:40 or is it considered negative as I have also heard? Also can I have lupus even when I had a negative lupus band test 4 years ago? Leanne
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Hello there,

In cases where ANA is negative or very low positive (as in your case) diagnosis can be very difficult. Experienced specialists will take all the clinical signs into account too and it sounds like this is what has happened here. There are many docs who will point blank refuse a diagnosis unless bloods back it up.

Yes you can have a diagnosis even with a negative band test. There is no one test that can say you do not have lupus as patients can have negative results for many tests at different times. I'm afraid I can't remember the figures for how many SLE sufferers will be negative on that test. It's actually quite high, so a negative doesn't mean you don't have lupus even if a positive definitely does.

The ANA test in itself is only a screening test that if highly positive is indicative of lupus or another auto-immune disease and even that test can disappear or vary due to treatment etc. For some rare patients (they say as little as 2%) there is never a positive ANA.

I am an ANA negative lupus sufferer (though my band test was highly positive) but since diagnosis other, more specific blood tests have started to show up.

My head's not too clear today, so I hope that answer wasn't too muddled,
bye for now,
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Hi Katherine

Thank you so much for the indepth answer to my question. I feel better about the validity of my tests now. Hope I am feeling less fatigued soon - sometimes its hard to hold my head up, it feels kinda disconnected from my body. You guys are great here! Leanne
I presume you have been started on treatment Leanne (plaquenil?) and I hope that you are feeling better soon even if you will still need to arm yourself with a little more patience as treatmets do take some time to work fully.

Yes, I have been started on Plaquenil (200mg 2 times a day) and I also take arthrotec. I know its a long road to haul - I have talked to my cousin who also has it. Just cant wait to feel good again, I guess. Once again, thanks.
I found this from an article in the Times

"If a skin rash is present, the doctor may take a biopsy (a tissue sample) from the margin of a skin lesion. A test known as a lupus band detects antibodies known as immunoglobulin G (IgG), which are located just below the outer layer of the tissue sample. They are present in about 80% of patients with active SLE and in 30 - 40% of those with inactive disease. The biopsy will not differentiate between systemic and discoid lupus, but it can rule out other diseases. Tests for other antibodies will rule out or confirm discoid lupus and subacute cutaneous lupus."

Biopsies are also taken from unaffected skin and I know that the percentages are then different. My test was done on unaffected skin.

the link for the full article is

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