ANA (Hep2 method)

Referred to Immunology, St Richard's Hospital, Chichester PO19 6SE.

Alternative names, keywords

ANF, anti-nuclear antibody.


Samples required

Clotted blood (gold cap, 5 mL tube). Smaller tubes are available for paediatric samples.

Test indications

Investigation of possible connective tissue diseases such as SLE, Sjögrens, polymyositis, dermatomyositis and mixed connective tissue disease. Also used for investigation of possible autoimmune hepatitis.

Test information

Traditional ANA performed by indirect immunofluorescence with Hep2 substrate.

This is reserved as a second-line test when samples screen positive on the ANA screen or for patients with a high chance of CTD who are negative by ANA screen. It also has diagnostic value for autoimmune hepatitis, but for this purpose please request liver antibodies which includes ANA analysis by indirect immunofluorescence.

To request when ANA screen is negative, please contact the laboratory or Dr Tarzi.

Repeat analysis is not routinely indicated.

Positive staining may be a non-specific finding; results should be interpreted in clinical context and together with other test results.

Method: indirect immunofluorescence.

Reference range

Reported as positive, weak positive or negative.

A pattern will be reported; homogeneous patterns are associated with antibodies to dsDNA antibody or histones, but may also be a non-specific finding; centromere staining has an association with the limited form of systemic sclerosis; speckled staining patterns are often seen in combination with positive ENA antibody results.

Titration is of limited value and is no longer routinely reported. Please contact the laboratory or Dr Tarzi if titration is needed.

Turnaround time

14 days.