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"Presence of" Antibodies

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#1 docmartenmom


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Posted 27 January 2011 - 06:22 PM

Hi All,

I was looking over my various blood tests from 2008 to present time, and noticed that aside from the high result in my scleroderma antibody-70 test, I also have antibodies "present" in several other autoimmune tests, including ANA, ACA, Sjogren's, Lupus and multiple other ones (I am at work so don't have the actual tests in front of me). I noticed that there is a "normal" result column and I have the presence of certain autoimmune antibodies but the numbers are lower than the "normal" numbers - how can any indication of antibodies be a negative? Just wondering. Sometimes I feel I should go to med school and specialize in autoimmune - I've read so much on it already, good grief. Any input would be appreciated - thanks.

#2 CraigR


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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:54 PM

That is very strange that you can test positive for an autoantibody, but have a level that is below "normal". The presence of these autoantibodies is generally always considered abnormal. Could it be a different test, not for autoantibodies?
Sounds like you may need some clarification from your doctor. Let us know what you find out.

Good luck,


#3 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:42 PM

Hi Docmartenmom,

That's a good question you pose about antibodies. As I understand it (and keep in mind I have no medical training at all; in fact once I even used anti-itch cream instead of anti-biotic cream on a wound) , all blood tests, including antibody tests, have ranges that are considered normal. It's quite common for healthy people to have antibodies (sometimes even in the abnormal ranges without ever developing any associated disease) and for there to be a presence of antibodies that fall within normal range.

Also, the ranges of items considered low-normal-high will vary depending on the laboratory used, so it is important to refer to only your own lab (and doctor's) interpretation of the results. For example, everybody has red blood cells, but some people have too few or too many. Just because "too many" indicates a disorder, having a normal amount is, quite simply, normal, and nothing to ever be worried about, unless or until a test reveals something that the lab identifies as being abnormal.

For various tests and ranges, please see our Systemic Scleroderma and Antibodies page.

Now, let's all review our lab tests and do the Sclero Happy Dance for all the antibodies (at out of range levels) that we don't have, at the moment!

And a moment of head banging, for those tests we summarily and repeatedly flunk...

Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#4 docmartenmom


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Posted 29 January 2011 - 12:45 AM

Thanks for your replies :)

When I look at my test results they pertain to the whole shebang of autoimmune antibody testing - but the super high result that stands out among all others is the Antibody-70 for scleroderma - mine is 195 and the "normal range" was 0-99. How can any presence of an antibody be "normal?" I will sit down with the scleroderma specialist in NYC on February 7th and see what she has to say about everything on my multiple labs - thanks!


#5 Joelf


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Posted 29 January 2011 - 08:33 AM

Hi Lori,

I received very detailed results of my blood tests when I was first diagnosed and like you, spent ages pouring over every detail of the antibodies and the results they showed. I was absolutely fascinated and in fact was able to tell my consultant that his synopsis had given me many hours of pleasure; I'm sure he thinks I'm a bit peculiar anyway and just humours me!! :wacko: ;) :lol:

Like Shelley, I don't actually have any medical training but I understand that we all need some 'normal' antibodies or we wouldn't be able to fight off any infections. I think the problem lies when the immune system becomes over active for whatever reason and produces the 'rogue' (for want of a better word! ;) ) antibodies that start to attack healthy tissues and organs. I realise that's quite a simplistic view; but the whole problem of Scleroderma and other autoimmune diseases is very complex.

I think it's a good idea of yours to discuss it fully with your Sclero specialist when you see him/her in February.
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#6 docmartenmom


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Posted 30 January 2011 - 06:40 PM

Thanks for sharing Jo - you sound like me lol I am researching and researching to no end, trying to get some clarity with this. My mom was surprised I got an appointment so soon with the sclero specialist in NYC. I reminded her that since it is considered a RARE disease, it makes sense I would get an appointment soon since so few people get diagnosed with this!