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Lupus

Can prednisone affect the results of an ANA t

06/25/2000

Question:

Five months ago, my 4 year old daughter had a urine test that showed blood and protein in her urine. And, she showed high blood pressure. My pediatrician immediately ordered blood tests, among them, he ordered an ANA test for lupus being that my mother has lupus. The tests came back negative. He then diagnosed her with post-strep glomerulonephritis, but she has never tested positive on a strep test. About five weeks before we noticed the blood and protein in her urine, she was told that she had strep by another doctor, even though she did not test positive for strep. She was then prescribed amoxicillin antibiotic. About two weeks later, she couldn`t get out of bed because of the pain in her legs and walked with a limp plus she had pain in her arms. She was then taken back to the doctor and was told that she was having serum sickness from the antibiotic and given prednisone. My question is after all this rambling, can prednisone affect the results of an ANA lupus tests. The prednisone was prescribed by a different doctor and I`m not sure he was aware of it. I only ask this, because she continues to have blood and protein in her urine after five months which the doctor says will eventually go away. What are her chances of having lupus?

Answer:

Without all the clinically relevant information and in particular more details regarding her work-up I cannot tell you what the risk for lupus is. Over 95% of patients with lupus have a positive ANA test so if her test is negative she is less likely to have lupus. High doses of steroids and of immunosuppresive agents may decrease the level of lupus antibodies.

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Response by:

Anne-Barbara Mongey, MD
Formerly, Director, Arthritis Clinic, Univerity Hospital
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati