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I have not been diagnosed with scleroderma yet. I have had a postive ANA and SCL-70 from one lab, a negative ANA and SCL-70 from another lab, and since then another positive ANA. What could that mean?


One doctor thinks I don't have it at all and one thinks it's possible.

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Hi Sarah,


Welcome to the Forum! I'm sorry you are in that horrible state of wondering "do I or don't I have something going on?"


Many of us who have ended up with a diagnosis of scleroderma can tell you that getting that diagnosis wasn't easy or quick. Most of the time it is achieved by having a group of symptoms consistent with scleroderma and that are confirmed by direct observation or testing.


Antibodies are helpful in confirming or eliminating a suspected disease and we have a great section on them, but it isn't my impression that diagnosis is made on the basis of either a positive or negative test result. Because of differences between test methods (and labs themselves), you can get (as you know) varying results. We've had other Forum members who've gotten similar confusing test results.


Were either of the doctors you mentioned a specialist? Sometimes a rheumatologist familiar with scleroderma might pick up on something a general practitioner wouldn't. Have any other tests been ordered? For instance, my original complaint was shortness of breath and a dry cough, so pulmonary function tests, a chest CT, and allergy testing were ordered.


I know this probably hasn't been the definitive answer you were hoping for, but I hope it has been a little helpful. You mentioned in another post that you had hives - how are you doing with that? They can drive a person crazy, can't they? I hope you are over them now!


Best wishes and a warm hug,

Jeannie McClelland

(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager

(Retired) ISN Blog Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Artist

International Scleroderma Network

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Hi Sarah,


Sorry you are going through this. I was in your shoes about 6 months ago. I am now officially diagnosed with systemic sclero, and "borderline" rheumatoid arthritis, and they are watching for Lupus too like you.


If you have any symptoms I would see a rheumatologist or ask for a referral if you need one. I am guessing since they already ran the ANA and SCL-70 on you that you do have symptoms.


The one symptom that I got so tired of complaining about that I convinced myself was all in my head was "not feeling well", extremely tired and low fevers all the time. I wish I had sought medical attention sooner as my housework and job performance dramatically declined over a year or so and I spent that time blaming myself while my husband spent that time worried I had "checked out of life".


Take Good Care and please let us know how you are!



Diffuse Scleroderma Diagnosed March 2009

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