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.
Why It Is Done
These tests help your doctor see if you have an autoimmune disease, such as:
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
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