ANA Comprehensive Panel

Anti-DNA (DS) Ab Qn

Optimal Result: 0 - 4 IU/ml.

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." 

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The results of an anti-dsDNA test are usually considered together with a person’s medical history, signs and symptoms, and results of other autoantibody tests.

A high level of anti-dsDNA in the blood is strongly associated with lupus and is often significantly increased during or just prior to a flare-up. When the anti-dsDNA is positive and the person tested has other clinical signs and symptoms associated with lupus, it means that the person tested likely has lupus. This is especially true if an anti-Sm test is also positive.

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.

A very low level of anti-dsDNA is considered negative but does not exclude a diagnosis of lupus. Only about 65-85% of those with lupus will have anti-dsDNA.

Low to moderate levels of the autoantibody may be seen with other autoimmune disorders, such as Sjögren syndrome and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD).

What does it mean if your Anti-DNA (DS) Ab Qn result is too low?

A very low level of anti-dsDNA is considered negative but does not exclude a diagnosis of lupus. Only about 65-85% of those with lupus will have anti-dsDNA.

Low to moderate levels of the autoantibody may be seen with other autoimmune disorders, such as Sjögren syndrome and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD).

What does it mean if your Anti-DNA (DS) Ab Qn result is too high?

A high level of anti-dsDNA in the blood is strongly associated with lupus and is often significantly increased during or just prior to a flare-up. When the anti-dsDNA is positive and the person tested has other clinical signs and symptoms associated with lupus, it means that the person tested likely has lupus. This is especially true if an anti-Sm test is also positive.

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.

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, 
- joints, 
- blood vessels, 
- skin, 
- heart, 
- lungs, 
- 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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