The anti-dsDNA test identifies the presence of these autoantibodies in the blood.
The test for anti-dsDNA, along with other autoantibody tests, may be used to help establish a diagnosis of lupus and distinguish it from other autoimmune disorders.
Anti-double stranded DNA antibody (anti-dsDNA) is one of a group of auto-antibodies called antinuclear antibodies (ANA).
Normally, antibodies protect against infection, but autoantibodies are produced when a person's immune system fails to adequately distinguish between "self" and "non-self." They mistakenly attack the body's own healthy cells, causing tissue and organ damage. Anti-dsDNA specifically targets the genetic material (DNA) found in the nucleus of a cell, hence the name "anti-dsDNA."
While anti-dsDNA may be present at a low level with a number of disorders, it is primarily associated with lupus.
What is lupus?
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that can affect various tissues and/or organs of the body such as:
- the kidneys,
- blood vessels,
- and the brain.
One serious complication of lupus is lupus nephritis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the kidneys, which can lead to protein in the urine, high blood pressure, and kidney failure. It occurs when autoantibodies bind to antigens that have been deposited in the kidneys. In the evaluation of someone with lupus nephritis, a high level (titer) of anti-dsDNA is generally associated with ongoing inflammation and damage to the kidneys.
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