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Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies Panel Blood Test

Last updated April 3, 2019

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

The Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies Panel Blood Test is a group of blood tests to detect the presence of various autoantibodies. It is used to differentiate and diagnose autoimmune diseases.


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

  • Anti-U(1)RNP
  • ENA Panel Blood Test
  • Scleroderma Antibodies Blood Test 

What is Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies Panel Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Extractable nuclear antigen (ENA) antibodies are a group of autoantibodies that target proteins in a cell’s nucleus. They cause a variety of autoimmune diseases, such as Sjögren’s syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). There are different types of ENAs
  • Antibodies, or soluble immunoglobulins, are bodily defense proteins that protect against foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. An antibody’s target is called an antigen
  • Problems involving antibodies or antibody regulation may create a situation, where antibodies mistakenly target bodily tissues. These antibodies are called autoantibodies and autoantibodies cause autoimmune diseases
  • ENA antibodies specifically target antigens inside a cell’s DNA-containing center, the nucleus. These antigens can be extracted using a saltwater solution, so they are called extractable nuclear antigens (ENAs)
  • ENAs include ribonucleoprotein (RNP), Smith (Sm), SS-A/Ro, and SS-B/La. ENAs and the antibodies that target them can be found in individuals with autoimmune diseases
  • The Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies Panel Blood Test is a group of blood tests to detect the presence of various autoantibodies. It is used to differentiate and diagnose autoimmune diseases

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies Panel Blood Test?

Following are the clinical indicators for performing the Extractable Nuclear Antigen (ENA) Panel Test:

  • Dryness throughout the body, including the mouth and eyes
  • Increased dental decay
  • Skin rash
  • Altered mental status
  • Fever
  • Chronic fatigue, joint and muscle pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Occasional paleness, pain, and discoloration of the fingers or toes (Reynaud phenomenon) 

How is the Specimen Collected for Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies Panel Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies Panel Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process: Insertion of a needle into an arm vein.

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

What is the Significance of the Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies Panel Blood Test Result?

The significance of Extractable Nuclear Antigen Antibodies Panel Blood Test is explained:

  • Positive anti-RNP may indicate:
    • Mixed connective tissue disorder (MCTD)
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
    • Scleroderma
  • Positive anti-SS-A/Ro may indicate:
    • Sjögren’s syndrome
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus
    • Scleroderma
    • Nephritis
    • Antiphospholipid syndrome
    • Neonatal congenital heart block
  • Positive anti-SS-B/La may indicate:
    • Sjögren’s syndrome
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus
    • Scleroderma
  • Positive Scl-70 may indicate:
    • Scleroderma
  • Positive anti-Jo-1 may indicate:
    • Polymyositis
    • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Positive anti-Sm may indicate systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) 

Findings of the ENA Antibodies Panel Blood Test do not correlate exactly with the given autoimmune disease. However, if the appropriate symptoms exist, the chance is high that the suspected autoimmune disease is the cause 

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:

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider, 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.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Aug. 10, 2014
Last updated: April 3, 2019