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Anticentromere-antibody



Why Get Tested

To detect the presence of anticentromere antibodies to help diagnose limited cutaneous scleroderma

When To Get Tested

When you have one or more symptoms that suggest CREST syndrome

Sample Required

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

Test Preparation Needed

None




Common Questions


The anticentromere antibody ACA test is primarily ordered to help diagnose the autoimmune disorder limited cutaneous scleroderma a form of systemic scleroderma and CREST syndrome The test may be used to distinguish between this and other conditions with similar symptoms ACA is an autoantibody a protein produced by the immune system that mistakenly targets the body s own tissues For more on this see the What is being tested

The ACA test may be ordered when a person has a positive result on an ANA test and one or more of the symptoms associated with CREST These symptoms include Calcinosis calcium deposits under the skin Raynaud phenomenon episodes of decreased blood flow to fingers and toes causing them to turn white and blue Esophageal dysfunction difficulty swallowing acid reflux and heartburn Sclerodactyly tight thick shiny skin on the hands and fingers Telangiectasia red spots on skin due to swollen capillaries

If a person is positive for ACA and has symptoms of CREST then it is likely that the person has limited cutaneous scleroderma ACA is found in about 60-80 of people who have limited cutaneous scleroderma and can be present in up to 95 of those who have CREST syndrome If someone is negative for ACA then it is likely that the person s symptoms are due to another condition However it is possible though rare that the individual has limited cutaneous scleroderma and does not produce anticentromere antibodies

ACA can be positive in some other autoimmune disorders such as lupus rheumatoid arthritis or primary biliary cirrhosis Typically only people who have CREST symptoms are tested for ACA However some people may be positive for ACA prior to the development of these symptoms and ACA may be performed in conjunction with testing for other autoimmune disorders The amount of ACA present does not in general correlate to the severity of a person s symptoms

This test is not intended to be a general screening test It is typically only indicated when a person has symptoms associated with CREST Since limited cutaneous scleroderma is relatively rare most people will never need to have this test performed

No it does not respond to lifestyle changes

Concentrations of ACA in the blood may vary over time but once someone has developed ACA that person will continue to produce them for life

No ACA testing requires specialized equipment and training It is not offered by every laboratory and usually is performed be a reference laboratory