What should I do if my child has a positive ANA test?

Your physician or pediatric rheumatologist will interpret the ANA test in the context of other laboratory studies and your child’s history and physical examination to determine if your child has any sign of ANA-related rheumatologic disease. Further testing will be done if the doctor suspects your child has a particular disease.

ANA testing has a high "false positive" rate, meaning that many people who don't have an autoimmune disease can have higher ANA levels. It is important to speak with your child’s pediatrician or pediatric rheumatologist to determine if a positive ANA result is meaningful or if it relates to your child’s symptoms.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2018.

References

  • American College of Rheumatology. Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA). Accessed 2/11/2019.
  • Malleson NP, Mackinnon MJ, Sailer-Hoeck, et. al. Review for the generalist: The antinuclear antibody test in children - When to use it and what to do with a positive titer. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2010; 8: 27. doi: 10.1186/1546-0096-8-27
  • American Association for Clinical Chemistry/Lab Tests Online. Antinuclear Antibody (ANA). Accessed 2/11/2019.
  • Lupus Foundation of America. The antinuclear antibody (ANA) test. Accessed 2/11/2019.

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