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Deciphering Bloodwork


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#1 irishkate02

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 10:33 AM

I recently had my first appointment with a rheumatologist, had lab work done and received a postcard in the mail with a checkbox marked "positive" for "sclerodermal antibody" with "abnormal" written next to it. Needless to say I went right in to the doctor to request a copy of my bloodwork since my next appointment isn't for another 4 weeks.

My question is regarding the ANTI-CENTROMERE B ANTIBODIES. My result was "high", 2.1 with the reference for "normal" being 0.0 - 0.9. What I'm wondering is: 1) just how "high" my 2.1 is and 2) does this mean a diagnosis of limited scleroderma is on it's way or do some people just test "high" with this specific antibody and never experience any other symptoms of the disease?

Background info, just in case - age: 29, positive ANA at 1:320 for the past 5 years, and Raynaud's for almost 10 years.

Thanks in advance for any help with this. From what I've been reading it doesn't sound like I'm the only experience anxiety while in "limbo" but most of the forums I've read speak regularly about the SCl-70 antibodies but not the anti-centromere B antibodies so I thought I'd post this.

#2 janey

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 10:58 AM

Irish Kate,
Welcome to the ISN Formuns! It does sound as if you've been reading some of our threads, so you probably already know that each of us are different in our symptoms and tests results. They are some people that have sclero specific antibodies and no symptoms of the disease. Then there are those that are negative on the antibodies testing and have many symptoms. So antibodies testing is just a means to help the doctors know where to look. You can have false positives as well as false negatives.

We do have a couple of abstracts on Anti-centromere Antibodies (ACA). I'm certainly no doctor and have no medical training, so take my interpretation with a grain of salt. From these two abstracts it appears that the ACA is associated with CREST (or limited) and possibly an overlap with another autoimmune such as Sjogren's Syndrome (SS). But again - everyone is different and as you'll see, the results of these studies were varied.

I know anxiety can high during this limbo stage, but you need to try to not let it stress you too much. Added stress can have a negative effect physically. Please develop habits to reduce your anxiety and stay calm. We have a large section on emotional adjustment that you might take a look at. I revisit these pages periodically just to remind me of the importance of managing my stress and anxiety.

I hope this helps. If I find anything else about ACA-B, I'll send you the link.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
ISN Support Specialist
(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster
(Retired) ISN News Director
(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)