Arthritis And Positive ANA Test Result

4 Replies
daphnekula - February 16

Hi, I am 22 weeks pregnant and have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I recently tested positive for ANA. I am researching all over the web and can't find one good site that talks about positive ANA effects on pregnancy. My RA Dr said he wants to test again in 6 weeks and see if I am still postiive. If so, he says the baby will need injections for 3 days after birth to prevent heart blockage. Anyone has heard of this? I did see a long but very old forum thread in this site about ANA results but none of the ladies had RA. Thanks. Daphne.


jess - February 24

Not sure about ana, but i have RA too..............have a 16 month old.............if ya wanna chat!


cath - March 6

Hi, Hope I can help answer your question.... A positive ANA doesn't always mean anything at all. It might be positive because you have RA, or a false positive. Alternatively, there is a small chance that you may develop a second autoimmune condition called Lupus. Try not to panic about that possibility, but if you do have sympltoms of lupus, make sure you tell your rheumatologist ASAP. Sometimes an ANA goes positive in pregnancy jusy because of the pregnancy and will revert to negative later. Actually the ANA itself has no impact on the pregnancy and in itself poses no threat. What IS important to know is if you have a specific type of ANA called ant Ro or SSA. This is tested by something called an ENA (extractable nuclear antigens). If you are Ro positive, there is a small chance your baby could be affected by something called neonatal lupus. The biggest problem with neonatal lupus is tat sometimes it causes heart block in the baby. If you are positive, your baby will be followed more closely to check for any signs of heart involvement (this usually happens after 20 weeks gestation). It is pernament but can be treated with a pacemaker if needed. While you are having the ENA done , it might be a good idea to ask about also getting tested for antiphospholipid antibodies. These can cause problems in pregnancy with clots in the placenta. About 1/3 of people with lupus also have these antibodies. Sometimes autoimmune diseases strike in packs (you can have more than one), so it is worth checking to see. To find more info, try searching with key words neonatal lupus, Ro antibodies, and antiphospholipid syndrome. Hope this helps (By the way I'm a lupus sufferer and a midwife, and have just learnt my 4th pregnancy has failed due to APS complications) X Cath X


Lexineli - March 8

Hello everyone am 26 yrs found out i was pregnant Tues. had a miscarriage on 1/25 this would be my 1st baby i have lupus Cath what should i except u got any advice?


daphnekula - March 17

Thank you very much Cath for the very informative answer. I have a Peri appointment in two weeks and will be sure inquire about everything you mentioned. Daphne.



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