Autoantibodies and ANAs

Malea

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I have to tell my (family) doctor tommorrow about the autoantibodies I tested positive for. (Adrenergic, muscarinic ACh and angiotensin)
At the same time I have negative ANAs (1:80) and I worry that my doctor will think that there can‘t be a problem because of the negative ANAs. (That is what a rheumatologist told me a few weeks ago)

Does anybody know why the ANAs can stay negative even though there may be a lot of autoantibodies?
 

Lisa108

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As I understand it, ANAs are a totally different type of autoantibodies. So the ones you tested positive for couldn't show up in a test for ANA (and vice versa).

The ANA test is not a general unspecific test to see whether you have autoantibodies (or not). It is specific and searches for "autoantibodies-that-bind-to-proteins/protein-complexes-in-the-cell-nucleus".

The autoantibodies you tested positive for are targeted against receptors.

So the rheumatologist could only rule out diseases that are associated with ANAs (Lupus, Sjögren's,...). But there are lots of other diseases that are associated with different (not ANA) autoantibodies.
 

Malea

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The ANA test is not a general unspecific test to see whether you have autoantibodies (or not). It is specific and searches for "autoantibodies-that-bind-to-proteins/protein-complexes-in-the-cell-nucleus".
Thanks a lot, @Lisa108. That makes total sense!

And I assume a general unspecific test that would also detect autoantibodies against receptors might not exist?
 
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I have to tell my (family) doctor tommorrow about the autoantibodies I tested positive for. (Adrenergic, muscarinic ACh and angiotensin)
At the same time I have negative ANAs (1:80) and I worry that my doctor will think that there can‘t be a problem because of the negative ANAs. (That is what a rheumatologist told me a few weeks ago)

Does anybody know why the ANAs can stay negative even though there may be a lot of autoantibodies?
There may be washout of few autoantibodies while processing and leads to lower ANA. That's what I overheard from a learned rheumy.
 

Gingergrrl

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There may be washout of few autoantibodies while processing and leads to lower ANA. That's what I overheard from a learned rheumy.
Can you explain what that means? Did the rheumy say that certain autoantibodies can actually make the ANA titer appear lower than it really is?! (or do you mean something else)?

And good luck @Malea for your appt. I had negative ANA of 1:40 in 2013 and 2014, even when I had a diagnosis of Hashimoto's (autoimmune thyroid), with very high levels of both thyroid autoantibodies. So I know that you can have thyroid autoantibodies and still have a negative ANA.

I did not test it in 2015, but in 2016, my ANA was positive at 1:160, speckled pattern and by then I was positive for 7/9 Cell Trend autoantibodies, anti GAD65, and the N-type Calcium Channel Autoantibody (that correlates w/LEMS). But none of these are common tests like the auto-abs for RA, Lupus, Celiac, etc. I really am not sure which autoantibodies correlate with the ANA?

After two years of IVIG, and one year of Rituximab, my ANA is now negative again at 1:80. My cell trend auto-abs are less (now four positive instead of seven, plus one of the new ones... so technically 5/11 positive now vs. 7/9 positive in 2016). My anti-GAD65 is still positive (but is much lower) vs. my CA+ Channel autoantibody is slightly higher. And my thyroid autoantibodies are much lower (but I was told they will never go negative). I doubt that any of what I just wrote was helpful :confused::(:whistle:... It just seems that autoantibody levels do not always correlate with symptom severity, at least not in my case.
 

Gingergrrl

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Thanks. It went well, back in May ;) Luckily, my gp directly believed in the Antibodies and didn’t have to question them.
Sorry, I didn't realize the appt was back in May! :oops::bang-head: But... I am glad that your GP believed in the autoantibodies and didn't question them.
 
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@Gingergrrl..yes ,to some extent. My ANA titre was 1:100 but I have SSa and anti-beta glycoprotein antibodies. So he said that SSa gets washed out frequently while processing giving low ANA titre.
He is the reputed rheumatologist in my country so I guess it is true. But he doesn't know connection between POTS and these autoantibodies. But he thought Imuran is quite risky to try. So still no treatment as I don't want to take plaquenil as I am afraid of retinal toxicity. As I have experienced rarest complications in simplest things, I refused it.
 
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