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Have COPD, negative for HIV. Have dry mouth and tongue. Done ANA test. Does COPD affect ANA test?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 5141 Questions
52 year old male with COPD hiv neg mri negative dry mouth on left side of cheek and tongue for 4 months-ana test ordered by my ent doctor-results as follows-ana screen equivocal-antiscleroderma (Scl-70) interpretation equivocal-antiscleroderma test range is 0-100 AU/ml and mine was 110H-i have no symptoms of scleroderma-the dry mouth due to swelling of parotid gland is typical of sjogrens-i need some encouraging advice-i am told copd affects XXXXXXX test-is that right? my ent just dumped me off on a rheumatologist-im not convinced i have scleroderma-what do you think-also what do you think about the 2 equivocal results? please help! i want to redo XXXXXXX test and see a more experienced ent next week but this is hard on my nervous system not knowing
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 6 hours later
Hi there.

Thanks for the query.

COPD itself can cause dry mouth due to the pursed lip breathing and constant water loss by water vapour evaporation from the mouth. But dry area only on one side of the inner cheek could be due to local pathology like trauma, mucosal lesions etc.

Dry mouth with swelling of the parotid gland could indicate possible stone formation in the duct which may be associated with pain. Some patients of Scleroderma can develop Sjogren syndrome where there is generalized dryness of eyes, nose, mouth, but in Sjogren syndrome XXXXXXX antibodies levels are invariably high. Your XXXXXXX levels are equivocal means less chance of Sjogrens. Other causes could include chronic parotid infection, alcohol intake etc.

Scl70 auto-antibodies are quite specific for the disease Scleroderma, it is seen in 75-87% of patients suffering from Scleroderma. Yours is 110 high level which could mean that you may have the disease. But as mentioned, it is not seen in all Patients with Scleroderma.

24% COPD Patients have demonstrated high levels of XXXXXXX antibodies in a study but yours are equivocal meaning there is no particular significance and is not possibly associated with Sjogren syndrome.

It would be best to get a Sialogram by X-ray look for a Parotid gland stone. Also an ultrasound of the Parotid gland can look for specific pathology. If required a needle biopsy or Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) study may be required to look at the kind of damage to the salivary gland which may point to the cause of it's enlargement and dry mouth.

It is advisable to do steam inhalation while opening mouth as well or using humidifiers. This will take care of your dry mouth.

You may re-do your XXXXXXX and Anti-Scl tests if required. As of now the diagnosis is difficult to make because you haven't mentioned any symptoms of Scleroderma like difficulty swallowing, hard skin, skin itching, joint pains, etc. The lung and breathing problem can also be seen in Scleroderma though mimicking COPD. This needs to be confirmed by a Pulmonologist by Pulmonary function testing.

I understand your concern in this regard but please do try to remain positive. Get the tests repeated and also get a complete physical examination by your Rheumatologist to look for signs of Scleroderma because just positive tests do not make a diagnosis unless complemented by physical findings of Scleroderma.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.

Wishing good health.


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