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Thread: Antinuclear Antibodies

  1. #1

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    Default Antinuclear Antibodies

    Hey everyone,



    Does anyone know anything about antinuclear anitbodies - what are they, how they cause m/c? I just got my blood test results back and the ANF test came back positive and had 'high level' written on it. Also it seems that I have a slightly overactive thyroid. OB is doing some follow up tests for both and says I will have to take aspirin next pg.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Hi Angel,

    How are you going?

    I am glad that you have an answer about your recurrent miscarriages. At least now there is a plan of attack with your next pregnancy.

    Antinuclear antibodies are basically antibodies that attack nuclei and lead to destruction of tissue. Many people can carry these and never know they have them. They most commonly come to light in women of childbearing age because of their effect on pregnancy.

    As to how they cause problems: in simple terms they cause increased clotting and hence decrease the blood going to the placenta and hence the baby leading to increased chance of miscarriage or placental problems leading to miscarriage. The other thing that they can do is because they cause inflammation they can leave the placenta thin and weak and less likely to 'stick' to uterus.

    Does that makes some sense or am I being too simple??

    Treatment is firstly with aspirin, to thin the blood and decrease chance of clot formation, and in some women a treatment with steroid to suppress the inflammation may also be an option. Steroids such as prednisone do not cross the placenta easily so the exposure to baby is minimal (hence you will not give birth to an elephant baby.....).

    Please let me know if you'd like more information... I will try and help if I can.

    Love
    Gabby O

  3. #3

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    Thanks for all that info, Gabby :-) At least now there is a definite medical condition that I can tell my mother about when she insists that it is the cold weather that caused my m/c's :roll:

    Thanks again!

  4. #4

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    No Problem Angel,

    Any time.

    Gabby

  5. #5

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    Hi Gabby,

    Just thought of another question (sorry LOL). I just remembered that I noticed on the results that it said 'speckled' something or other. Is that supposed to be significant do you think? Oh, and also, I Googled antinuclear antibodies, and almost everything that came up was to do with lupus but my OB did a lupus anticoagulant test and it came back negative. Does that mean I don't have lupus, or could I still have it?

    Sorry for all the questions!

  6. #6

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    Hi Scarlett,

    I am no haematologist but my understanding is this:

    What the doctor would have tested for (besides ANA and others) is the lupus anticoagulant which can be present or absent in women with lupus and which is what I assume you saw that came back negative. The lupus anticoagulant is raised in many autoimmune disorders. That is it is a non specific autoimmune marker. SLE (systemic lupus erythrematosus) which is what google would have pointed you to is tested for 'most specifically' by ANA. If raised, you can be suspicious that diagnosis is SLE, but again as with all the autoimmune diseases, diagnosis is largely on clinical basis with these tests being 'supportive' in evidence. Many women have raised ANA, but no clinical manifestation of SLE, thus having the ANA again does not mean you have the disease.

    Basically, your blood tests just says that you have a raised level of autoimmune antibodies, with suspicion of SLE (ie you may or may not have it), which have most probably contributed to your recurrent miscarriages. Without having other systemic problems, ie. kidnes, heart, nervous etc., it would be a very hard diagnosis to make on the basis of one abnormal blood marker.

    Does this makes sense?

    These autoimmune markers in blood have 'clinical associations' ie, women with lupus anticoagulant, or ANA, or anticardiolipin all have increased risk of clotting (alas to a varying degree). Different combinations of these blood markers as well as systemic problems lead to a diagnosis of a particular disease.

    The 'speckled' thing is nothing to worry about - just the pathologist way of describing what they see under the microscope ( and I am afraid hard to explain without seeing the rest of the sentence....)

    Hope this helps.

    Love
    Gabby

  7. #7

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    Thanks for explaining that, Gabby. By the sounds of it I will just have to wait and see what the results are in a couple of weeks!

  8. #8

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    Angel - What a relief to finally have some answers! I bet you feel much better about going into TTC knowing you can now have a plan of attack for next time! Maybe I can pick our Obstetrician's brains, Dr. Nick Lolatgis but I do know he's very busy at present!

    Isn't it also fabulous to also have Gabby on hand - you're a gem Gab! Thank-you for all your help and brain picking sessions you have kindly given us all!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  9. #9

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    I have an auto immune disease which is similar to LUPUS (Vasculitis), - I wonder if this is why I have difficulty conceiving??

    I have ANCA anti bodies, - although I am currently in remission. :-k

  10. #10

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    Hm, I'm not sure, Gwen. Have you had a chat to your doctor about how it might affect TTC? It'd be worth looking into anyway, just in case.

    Lots of luck! Hope you get a BFP soon!

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