Antinuclear antibodies(ANA)are autoantibodies which recognize cellular antigens found predominantly(although not exclusively), in the cell nucleus.
A positive ANA of 1:160 or more is highly suggestive of autoimmune diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE). Low titer positivity can be seen in infectious diseases, malignancies and in apparently 20% of healthy individuals. Negative ANA has a strong negative predictive value for SLE. Gold standard method of ANA test is indirect immunofluorescence(IF) against human laryngeal epithelial carcinoma (HEp-2) cells.
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