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Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody

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Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA), as the name suggests, are a type of antibodies that work against neutrophils leading to autoimmune vasculitis.

Immunofluorescence pattern of PR3 antibodies
Immunofluorescence pattern of PR3 antibodies

Types of ANCA

  • pANCA, which targets myeloperoxidase
  • cANCA, proteinase 3

Other names

ANCA antibodies, cANCA pANCA, cytoplasmic neutrophil antibodies, serum, anticytoplasmic autoantibodies

cANCA
Immunofluorescence pattern produced by binding of ANCA from a patient with Wegener's Granulomatosis to ethanol-fixed neutrophils

Clinical use

ANCA test is used to diagnose autoimmune vasculitis.

Types of autoimmune vasculitis

Types of autoimmune vasculitis include:

  1. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), )Wegener's disease) affecting the lungs, kidneys, and sinuses.
  2. Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) affecting lungs, kidneys, nervous system, and skin.
  3. Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), (Churg-Strauss syndrome) affects skin and lungs. It often causes asthma.
  4. Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) affecting the heart, kidneys, skin, and central nervous system.
Wegener's Granulomatosis - Vasculitis
Wegener's Granulomatosis - Vasculitis

Symptoms

Vasculitis
Vasculitis
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle and/or joint aches
  • Eyes
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Ears
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Hearing loss
  • Sinuses
  • Sinus pain
  • Runny nose
  • Nose bleeds
  • Skin
  • Rashes
  • Sores or ulcers, a type of deep sore that's slow to heal and/or keeps coming back
  • Lungs
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Kidneys
  • Blood in the urine
  • Foamy urine, which is caused by protein in the urine
  • Nervous system
  • Numbness and tingling in different parts of the body

Test results

If your ANCA is negative, it means your symptoms are probably not due to autoimmune vasculitis.

If you test positive for ANCA, it may indicate autoimmune vasculitis.

The test can also show which ANCA, either cANCAs or pANCAs were found which can help determine which type of vasculitis you have.

 

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