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Immunology Laboratory

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Nuclear Antibodies

Also known as: ANA

Antinuclear antibodies are associated with a variety of autoimmune and non autoimmune conditions. ANAs may be used as a screening test for connective tissue disease (CTDs), and are a sensitive marker of systemic lupus erythematosus; occurring in virtually all patients with untreated disease. A negative ANA on HEp-2 cells effectively excludes untreated SLE. Presence of ANAs in significant titre (>1/80) is not specific for SLE, occurring in up to 15 - 50% of patients with other autoimmune diseases e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Sjogren's, dermatomyositis. The ANA titre is of little value in monitoring SLE disease activity, as the antibodies have an in-vivo half life of 3 - 4 weeks.

Specimen requirements

Serum - 1ml


Price on application

Laboratory turnaround time

3 days

Laboratory method

Indirect Immunofluorescence on Hep-2 Cells

Assay interferences

Microbially contaminated, heat-treated samples should not be used.

Grossly haemolysed, icteric or lipaemic specimens should be avoided. Plasma is contraindicated samples are not validated for this assay.

Reference range/units

Titre with pattern identified

Normal Range = 0 - 1/80 titre

Associated tests

  • ENA Screen
  • Autoantibody Screen
  • dsDNA

Sample stability

3 weeks at 2-8ÂșC

Shipping and storage

UK and Ireland

Ambient temperature and first class post. Hays DX users please enquire via email below.


Ambient temperature if courier will deliver within 72 hours otherwise consider refrigerated transport. Freezing is not a requirement.

Ensure delivery Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:30.

Further information and contact details

For further information, email

Last reviewed:13 September 2022