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Antinuclear antibody (ANA), includes anticentromere

General information

'Antinuclear antibody' refers to an old test for IgG against nuclear components, detected by immunofluorescence. This test has been superseded by faster, more reproducible parallel tests for each of the nuclear components, namely ENA (extractable nuclear antigens SS-A (SS-A52, SS-A60) (Ro), SS-B (La), Sm, Sm/RNP, RNP (RNPA, RNP 68), Ribo P, Chromatin, Jo-1 and Scl70), DNA and centromeres.

When you request ANA we will perform the above tests; if any are positive this will be indicated as a positive ANA. If the specificity of the positive ANA is not indicated, please note that the laboratory can release this extra information if you contact us within two weeks of the original specimen receipt. Please see also ENA, DNA and centromere antibodies.

Specimen transport: At room temperature

Repeat frequency: On appearance of new symptoms

Special precautions: None

Laboratory information

Normal reference range: ANA - Neg Centromere <0-0.9AI

Volume and sample type: 7ml clotted blood

Method: Multiplex flow immunoassay

Turnaround time (calendar days from sample receipt to authorised result): Median - 1

Clinical information

Indications for the test: Suspected SLE, connective tissue disease, hepatitis or drug induced lupus.

Factors affecting the test: May be positive due to the age of the patient or due to infection. For these reasons positive results have a low predictive value in the absence of clinical signs of the diseases indicated above. ANA should not, therefore, be used as a 'screen' in patients with vague symptoms and signs.


ICE reference: Anti-Nuclear Antibodies


(Last updated August 22nd 2018)