Usually, the results of the ANA test are reported in titers and patterns. The titer gives information about how many times the lab technician diluted the blood plasma to get a sample of ANAs.
The pattern of the ANA test can give information about the type of autoimmune disease present and the appropriate treatment program.
A homogenous (diffuse) pattern appears as total nuclear fluorescence and is common in people with systemic lupus. A peripheral pattern indicates that fluorescence occurs at the edges of the nucleus in a shaggy appearance; this pattern is almost exclusive to systemic lupus. A speckled pattern is also found in lupus. Another pattern, known as a nucleolar pattern, is common in people with scleroderma.
The ANA staining pattern can be helpful in suggesting a diagnosis, but does not provide definitive evidence.
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