Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA)

Anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) are the most frequently encountered autoantibodies in rheumatic diseases which include systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), mixed connective tissue disorder (MCTD) and autoimmune hepatitis. However, a positive ANA does not signify the presence of disease as ANA may be positive at low titres in elderly individuals. This investigation is based on indirect immunofluorescence using a HEp-2 cell line as substrate. The laboratory tests for only for antibodies of the IgG isotype (other isotypes can be investigated by request). Sera are initially tested at 1:40 dilution and if positive the titre of ANA determined.

ANA reacts with antigenic nucleoproteins in the nucleus and cytoplasm which includes Sm, SSA/Ro, SSB/La, RNP, Jo-1 and Scl-70.. ANA produces a number of IIF staining patterns, homogenous, rim, speckled, nucleolar and anti-centromere. The staining pattern has a low sensitivity and specificity for different rheumatic diseases.
Reference range: 

Negative / To Confirm

Titre value
Sample type and Volume required: 
Clotted (Gold top vacutainer)
Turnaround time: 
4 working days
Special sample instructions: 

All tests are compromised by prolonged transit times. For this reason, date of bleed and date of postage must be provided with each request.

Storage and transport: 
Serum stored at 4°C should be sent by first class post
Time limit for extra tests: 
10 days
Diagnostic Immunology and Allergy Department at King's College Hospital
General Enquiry : 020 3299 8752 / 020 3299 1171
King's College Hospital
Bessemer Wing - 1st Floor
Denmark Hill
London SE5 9RS
For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 10/01/2022