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Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test

Last updated Oct. 11, 2015

Blausen.com staff. "Blausen gallery 2014

The Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test is a test to detect DNA double strand antibodies. It is used in the diagnosis of lupus


What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • Antibody to DS-DNA Blood Test
  • DNA Double Strand Antibody Blood Test
  • Native Double-Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test

What is Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • DNA double strand antibodies are autoantibodies that target the DNA of the body’s own cells. They are associated with an autoimmune disorder called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus)
  • Antibodies are bodily defense proteins that recognize foreign invaders, such as bacteria. They interact with the immune system and initiate an immune response to rid the body of the invader
  • Autoantibodies are antibodies that mistakenly recognize the body’s own cells as foreign invaders. DNA double strand antibodies are a type of autoantibodies, called antinuclear antibodies, or ANAs. They recognize the DNA of the body’s own cells as foreign
  • DNA double strand antibodies are associated with the autoimmune disease lupus. Lupus can affect any number of organs, including the kidneys, heart, lungs, skin, and brain. It is characterized by inflammation, as a result of the autoantibodies attacking the cells in these organs
  • An autoantibody attack on the kidneys can impair kidney functioning and cause the kidneys to leak protein. This leads to a complication known as lupus nephritis. It occurs in 60% of lupus cases
  • The Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test is a test to detect DNA double strand antibodies. It is used in the diagnosis of lupus

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing the Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test:

  • Monitoring the progress of lupus
  • Following up to a positive test for antinuclear antibody (ANA)
  • Differentiating lupus from other autoimmune disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Chest pain
  • Dry eyes
  • Headache
  • Altered mental status
  • Hair and weight loss
  • Skin sensitivity to light
  • Abnormalities in urination and the urine produced, including dark urine

How is the Specimen Collected for Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test Result?

  • A positive Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test may indicate lupus in 50-70% of cases, if preceded by a positive antinuclear antibodies (ANA) blood test

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • A positive antinuclear antibodies (ANA) blood test is associated with lupus in 95% of cases; a positive Double Stranded DNA Antibody Blood Test is associated with lupus in 50-70% of cases

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disorder that may affect any area of the body such as the skin, joints, blood cells, kidneys, brain, heart, and lungs

The following article link will help you understand systemic lupus erythematosus:

http://www.dovemed.com/diseases-conditions/systemic-lupus-erythematosus/ 

Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:

http://www.dovemed.com/common-procedures/procedures-laboratory/ 

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Kumar, V., Abbas, A. K., Aster, J. C., & Robbins, S. L. (2013). Robbins basic pathology (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders.

Lab Tests Online (2015, February 24). Retrieved August 25, 2014 from http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/anti-dsdna/

Schnell, Z. B., Van, L. A., & Kranpitz, T. R. (2003). Davis's Comprehensive handbook of laboratory and diagnostic tests: With nursing implications. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.

Wilson, B. A., & Salyers, A. A. (2011). Bacterial pathogenesis: A molecular approach(3rd ed.). Washington, DC: ASM Press.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Sept. 6, 2015
Last updated: Oct. 11, 2015