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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Autoimmune Disease Tests
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Tests for autoimmune diseases measure the amount of certain antibodies in your blood. Your body makes antibodies to attack and destroy substances such as bacteria and viruses. But in autoimmune diseases, the antibodies attack and destroy your body's tissues. This can lead to diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and lupus. These health problems affect the connective tissues, such as the skin and joints, and blood vessels and other tissues.
Autoimmune tests may include anti-dsDNA, anti-RNP, anti-Smith (or anti-Sm), anti-Sjogren's SSA and SSB, anti-scleroderma or anti-Scl-70, anti-Jo-1, and anti-CCP. Antibody against cardiolipin also may be tested.
If you have several of these antibodies—or have them in high amounts—you may have an autoimmune disease.
You may have had an antinuclear antibody test, or ANA. This test is often done first to look for antibodies that can cause autoimmune problems. A rheumatoid factor test is also done to look for rheumatoid arthritis.
Your doctor will look at several things to decide if you have one of these conditions. He or she will look at your symptoms and the results of these and other tests.
These tests help your doctor see if you have an autoimmune disease, such as:
Your doctor may want you to have these tests if you have symptoms such as joint pain, muscle aches, and fever.
Your doctor will use these tests and your symptoms to see if you have a health problem.
You do not need to do anything special to prepare for this test.
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.
Tests for autoimmune diseases measure the amount of certain antibodies in your blood.
A normal (negative) result means that antibodies for these conditions were not found. An abnormal (positive) result means that one or more of these antibodies were found.
Your doctor will talk with you about anything that might keep you from having the test or that may change the test results.
Current as of: December 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: December 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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