Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA)
An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test measures the amount and pattern of Reference antibodies Opens New Window in your blood that work against your own body (autoimmune reaction).
The body's Reference immune system Opens New Window normally attacks and destroys foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. But in disorders known as Reference autoimmune diseases Opens New Window, the immune system attacks and destroys the body's normal tissues. When a person has an autoimmune disease, the Reference immune system Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window produces antibodies that attach to the body's own cells as though they were foreign substances, often causing them to be damaged or destroyed. Reference Rheumatoid arthritis Opens New Window and Reference systemic lupus erythematosus Opens New Window are examples of autoimmune diseases.
An ANA test is used along with your symptoms, physical examination, and other tests to find an autoimmune disease.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 4, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine