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What does a speckled pattern in an ANA test indicate?

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A speckled pattern in an anti-nuclear antibodies test may indicate Sjogren syndrome, scleroderma, polymyositis, rheumatoid arthritis or mixed connective tissue disease, according to Lab Tests Online. A speckled pattern may also appear on tests of individuals with systemic lupus, states the Johns Hopkins Lupus Center.

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Though a speckled pattern may indicate a variety of different autoimmune disorders, an individual without an autoimmune disorder may also have a speckled pattern on her ANA test, reports MedicineNet. An ANA test looks for anti-nuclear antibodies in the body, which are autoantibodies found in the nucleus of blood cells that attack the tissue in the body, explains Lab Tests Online. These autoantibodies are typically found in individuals with an autoimmune disease.

There are two ways to measure and test for the presence of autoantibodies in the blood: an immunoassay test or indirect fluorescent antibody test, according to Lab Tests Online. The indirect fluorescent antibody test also provides fluorescent patterns, which may be associated with various autoimmune disorders. The types of patterns seen with this test include homogenous, nucleolar, centromere and speckled. However, one pattern may not associate with just one disorder. For example, a speckled or homogenous pattern may indicate systemic lupus erythematosus, which is the most common condition associated with a positive ANA test.

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