At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
When to Get Tested?
If your doctor thinks that you have symptoms of an autoimmune disorder
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm
Test Preparation Needed?
The Test Sample
What is being tested?
The ANA test identifies the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in the blood. ANA is a group of special antibodies produced by the patient's immune system when it fails to adequately distinguish between ‘self’ and ‘nonself’. These autoantibodies attack the body’s own cells, causing signs and symptoms such as tissue and organ inflammation, joint and muscle pain, and fatigue. The presence of ANA is a marker of an autoimmune process and is associated with several autoimmune disorders but is most commonly seen in the autoimmune disorder systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is taken by needle from a vein in the arm.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.
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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.