A positive ANA reading alone does not indicate an autoimmune disease.
- Even healthy people with viral infections can have a positive ANA, although for a short time.
- Some medications can also cause a positive ANA. It is important to talk with your doctor about all the drugs that you are taking.
- Other conditions, such as cancer, can cause a positive ANA.
However, some conditions that are associated with a positive ANA test include systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), chronic liver disease (cirrhosis), rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, scleroderma, thyroid disease, or temporal arteritis.
The ANA test is especially helpful in diagnosing lupus since more than 95 percent of people with lupus test positive for ANA. However, not everyone who tests positive for ANA has lupus and not everyone with lupus tests positive for ANA.