Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies (ANCA) Test: Everything You Need to Know

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What does the ANCA test screen for

What does the ANCA test screen for

Introduction

Many tests are performed on a blood sample to determine various health disorders. One of the tests that doctors suggest is the ANCA test or the Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies test. The ANCA test looks for the levels of specific antibodies in the blood of the patient.

The ANCA antibodies are designed to fight infections in the body. However, ANCA often attacks neutrophils and causes the weakening of the immune system. The increase in ANCA levels and the killing of neutrophils can cause dysfunction in the circulatory system of the body and autoimmune vasculitis.

What does the ANCA test screen for?

There are two types of ANCA that the ANCA test screens for, which are two types of antibodies. There are pANCA and cANCA antibodies that can target the proteins of blood and cause dysfunction in the blood cells and vessels. The ANCA test shows if you have only one or two types of antibodies in the blood.

The test also shows the level of ANCA antibodies in the blood that helps in the diagnosis. If the doctor observes swelling and inflammation of the blood vessels, he can recommend the ANCA test to the patient. The ANCA test can also be done to monitor the levels of these antibodies and determine the condition of a patient who is already suffering from vasculitis.

What are the signs that you need an ANCA test?

Some symptoms of autoimmune vasculitis require an ANCA test for confirmation. The symptoms of autoimmune vasculitis that require an ANCA test are fever, fatigue, weight loss, and muscle aches. While people often think that these signs are symptoms of malnutrition or stress, the underlying condition can be autoimmune vasculitis. For proper diagnosis, an accurate ANCA test is necessary. Some symptoms might also come up in the ears, eyes, and skin of the patient, which the doctor can observe. If you suspect autoimmune vasculitis, it is best to go to a general health practitioner or a medical specialist.

What is the process for an ANCA test?

The ANCA test is very simple and happens on a blood sample that is collected from the patient. The collection process is noninvasive and uses a small intravenous injection to collect a small blood sample. The patient will only feel some pricking and pain during the collection process. The sting and pain will go away in a few minutes or hours. The patient does not need to prepare separately before the test.  

Result Interpretation

If the results are negative, it indicates that the patient does not have autoimmune vasculitis. If the results are positive, the patient has autoimmune vasculitis, and the doctor should start treatment for the same. After the results of the ANCA test are clear and interpreted, the positive results need to be followed by a biopsy test to confirm the condition. Therefore, the doctor might suggest another type of diagnosis test after the results. The ANCA test cost ranges from 1500 rupees to 2200 rupees.

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