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Red dots on body, blood test showed ANA speckled. Is it a good result or a negative?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
hi, I was on here about a month ago inquring about red dots that ive been having since oct 2011.
I went to three er docs, my primary and a derm who didnt seem to be concerned. I had 2 cbc's done all normal. My dots are very scattered and fade in about a day, i mostly get them on my stomach, legs and upper breast but there are not in clusters they do not blanche. Was told doesnt look like petechiae but possible blood vessels. Long story short, My derm gave me blood work for an XXXXXXX in case it would make me feel better she did not find it necessary. After walking up last week and having alot on my stomach i just went and got my blood drawn. My XXXXXXX came back as 1:40 speckled. My derm explained it to me but would like to get an other opinion. A 1:40 is negative?? she said thats the lowest they will go so does that mean no anti-nuclear bodies were found?? or did they dilute from 1:10 and up ? I do not have a copy with me i will be getting it tomorrow or friday.
is a 1:40 a good result or low high???
Posted Fri, 18 May 2012 in Blood Disorders
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 7 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
I would like to reassure you that the test report is normal and there is nothing that you need to be worried about. I would like to explain how this works:
ANAs are anti nuclear antibodies which can be found in approximately 5% of the normal population, usually in low titres (low levels). These people usually have no disease. A titre means is the number of times a solution (such as a person's blood) can be diluted before a substance (such as an antibody) can no longer be detected. Titres lower than 1:80 are less likely to be significant. A titre of 1:40 is a titre which is lower than that. Generally speaking, XXXXXXX titres of less than or equal to 1:40 are considered negative. Even higher titres are often insignificant in patients over 60 years of age. Ultimately, the XXXXXXX result must be interpreted in the specific context of an individual patient's clinical history and findings.
We would also need to discuss the test in some detail
If the patient's serum contains antinuclear antibodies (ANA), they bind to the commercially prepared cells (specifically the nuclei of the cells) on the microscopic slides used in the test. When viewed under an ultraviolet microscope, antinuclear antibodies appear as fluorescent cells. If fluorescent cells are observed, the XXXXXXX (antinuclear antibody) test is considered positive. If fluorescent cells are not observed, the XXXXXXX (antinuclear antibody) test is considered negative.
A titre is determined by repeating the positive test with serial dilutions until the test yields a negative result. The last dilution which yields a positive result (fluorescence) is the titre which gets reported. For example, if a titer is seen as in your case
1:10 positive, 1:20 positive, 1:40 positive, 1:80 negative. Then it’s reported as 1:40 positive.
But an XXXXXXX report has three parts:
1. Positive or negative
2. If positive, a titre is determined and reported
3. The pattern of fluorescence is reported.
The speckled pattern is not very specific and may be seen in people who do not have any autoimmune disorder or sometimes in mixed connective tissue disorders.
So for all practical purposes your test may be considered negative and that is why your doctor might have reported it so.
Hope I have answered your query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Red dots on body, blood test showed ANA speckled. Is it a good result or a negative? 4 hours later
Wow thanks for the in depth answer. So a tire of 1:40 means that I do have these anti-nuclear bodies in my blood right? dont we not want these?? My derm said that a 1:40 is the lowest they will go, what does that mean?? Other than the dots i feel great i sleep good, im not sore, im energetic, good appetite.
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 40 minutes later
Thanks for writing back.
Yes, you do have a small amount of antibodies against some nuclear antigens. However, these are known to occur in normal individuals as well. So as of now, you need not be worried about these titres.
Your doctor might have meant that the titres are really very low to be of any concern, as for the lowest or I would say maximum dilution that the laboratory would have used to detect the antibodies. Your values are as good as having a negative test.
The exact cause of the dots on your skin, however, would need to be determined.
I hope I have addressed your concern. I would be glad to answer any more questions. However, if you do not have any more questions, please close this discussion.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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