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Hi Everyone,

I am hoping that someone can help me.

I went to my local doctor 2 weeks ago with a sore ankle and sore/stiff feet especially around the achilles tendon area. I had a ankle x-ray which showed up normal and then had blood tests done. My blood tests showed that my ANA is 1600 and the report states the following: This pattern and titre is highly suggestive of localized scleroderma of the CREST variant or in patients with isolated Raynaud's phenomena. I have been referred to a rheumatologist which I cannot see for another week. A few days after I saw my Local Dr I experienced a severe pressure to the sternum area which travelled up the airway/throat area which was very uncomfortable. My swallowing is fine.

I went to the emergency room at the hospital and they gave me an ECG. Chest xray and did various blood tests which all came back normal. I was sent home.

This feeling lasted for a few days then subsided. I was fine for 3 days afterwards except for the stiffness soreness of the feet. Then yesterday this feeling of pressure came back again in the sternum/throat area this time lasting for 24 hours. I have no skin rashes/sores.

My questions are the following:

1. Could this be Systemic?

2. If this is the localized Scleroderma why haven't I got any skin complaints?

3. Is Scleroderma a part of Arthritis?

4. How quickly can Systemic/Localized Scleroderma progress?

5. Is this feeling of pressure in the sternum/throat area related?

I appreciate if someone can offer me some advice or their thoughts on this.


Thank you


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Hi and welcome to the forums!


I am glad you have found us but sorry it is because of your CREST diagnosis. CREST is considered to be one of the systemic types of scleroderma (not localized). Here is a great link explaining the different types of scleroderma including CREST.


The chest pain that you are describing could be due to an esophageal spasm. GI problems are fairly common in systemic scleroderma including CREST.


All of your questions are good questions and should definitely be shared with your rheumatologist when you get to see him/her in a couple of weeks.


Again, welcome!


Warm wishes,


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I'm sorry for the health problems yu are having and possible diagnosis of a type ofscleroderma. The link that Heidi provided will provided some great information on the various types sclero and might help you better identified some of your symptoms. One thing to remember is the each type usually effects each person differently. I have diffuse that usually has lots of skin involvement but other than my fingers which are a little tight and slightly curved, one would never know I have sclero. My progressed fast in 8 months, but once on meds slowed considerably. With some people it progresses slowly for years. CREST is a form of systemic as you'll see in the links. Sclero is primarily considered a connective tissue disease but is also considered to be a rare form of arthritis. During year 1 I use to have the pressure in the esophagus and throat. It was very painful but went away once on meds. Please see GI doctor about it.


Before seeing the rheumatologist be sure to write down all you symptoms whether or not you think they are relevant or not. A list of symptoms can really help the rheumatologist make an accurate diagnosis.


I'm so glad you found us Ced. Please let us know the results of you rheumatologist visit and feel free to post with more questions if you have them.


Welcome to the forum,

Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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