This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Antinuclear antibodies

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

A raised antinuclear factor (ANF) is almost always present in SLE (80-90% - note that uraemia may render the result negative) (1).

Other conditions that are associated with a positive ANF but usually of lower titre than in SLE, include:

  • systemic sclerosis (80%)
  • Sjogren's syndrome (60%)
  • polymyositis/dermatomyositis (30%)
  • Still's disease (30%)

Also seen in:

  • autoimmune chronic active hepatitis
  • primary biliary cirrhosis
  • infections, infective endocarditis
  • fibrosing alveolitis
  • drug reactions

Occasionally a positive ANF is found in normal elderly people.

Some patients are ANA positive but have antibodies which recognise different sets of nuclear proteins, termed extractable nuclear antigens (ENA)

  • the commonest is anti-Ro which is usually clinically associated with photosensitivity (1)


  • low-titre ANF (titres of <=1:80) may be clinically insignificant. Higher titres may be seen in various conditions, including RA and connective tissue diseases, and sometimes in viral and chronic infections (2)


  • 1) ARC. Connective tissue disease in primary care. Hands On 2006; 9:1-5.
  • 2) ARC.The approach to the patient presenting with multiple joint pain. Hands On 2012; 7(1):1-12.

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.