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Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies ANCA

Also Known As:

ANCA tests are conducted by following different sets of names. (These names are based on the test method used, the case involved, the situation presented or given combination with some other tests)

  • pANCA (Perinuclear Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody)
  • ANCA (Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies)
  • Pauci-Immune Necrotizing Glomerulonephritis
  • Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies (ACPA)
  • Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody (Perinuclear)
  • cANCA (Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies)
  • Anticytoplasmic Antibodies
  • ANCA Panel for Vasculitis
  • Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA)
  • 33185-VASC

What Is The Test?

ANCA stands for Anti-neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies. It is a medical test used to test antibody count within your blood. Like all other types of antibodies, Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies are also a part of our immune system, fighting against the foreign invading particles. These antibodies are proteinaceous in nature and are produced by ribosomal units present on the endoplasmic reticulum of your body cells.

Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies are of two different types, each targeting a different protein entity inside the white blood cells. For example,

  • pANCA: targets Myeloperoxidase protein (MPO).
  • cANCA: targets Proteinase 3 protein (PR3).

The ANCA Vasculitides test is conducted to identify which types of abnormal antibodies exist inside the blood causing the problem. Some may have only one type of defective antibodies, but others may also have both types of destructive antibodies. Your doctor uses the ANCA Vasculitides test for diagnosing the disorder and evaluates the type of treatment needed.

What Is The Test Used For?

ANCA Vasculitides test is used to diagnose patients for more significant threats, i.e., autoimmune diseases. Patients suspected of Autoimmune Vasculitis are tested to confirm the presence of antibody abnormalities. It may be concerned with the Wegener granulomatosis protein, Microscopic polyangiitis protein, or both. Depending upon the type of protein abnormality involved, the tests may vary as pANCA, cANCA, or both.

The different types of autoimmune vasculitis disorders detected by the test results are:

  • Granulomatosis Polyangiitis (GPA)
    Also known as Wegener's disease, it mainly involves lung problems, kidney impairment, and sinuses-related disorders.
  • Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA)
    It majorly affects several essential body organs such as kidneys, lungs, skin, and the nervous system.
  • Eosinophilic Granulomatosis Polyangiitis (EGPA)
    Also known as Churg-Strauss Syndrome, it is related to causing skin and lung problems involving severe asthma.
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa (PAN)
    It is a CNS disorder that affects the heart, skin, and kidneys. 

The test is also used for the diagnosis of other vascular diseases. Such as:

Why And When Do You Need To Get Tested?

Patients suffering from vascular diseases or autoimmune blood diseases are at risk of developing severe types of life-threatening conditions. Therefore, healthcare professionals conduct an ANCA Vasculitides blood test to determine future treatment plans based on either cANCA pattern or pANCA.

Also, the patients suffering from bowel diseases such as Ulcerative Colitis are diagnosed based on ANCA Vasculitides test results. The results confirm the presence of antibodies that give rise to PR-3 or MPA antibody abnormalities.

Some patients at risk of developing drug-induced lupus and similar diseases are also tested via the pANCA pattern Vasculitides test.


Your doctor may ask for an ANCA test if you have the following common symptoms of autoimmune vasculitis.

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle Ache
  • Painful Joints

Some more specific symptoms related to different organs may include the following symptoms:

Eyes Ears Nose Nervous System Skin Lungs Kidneys
Redness Ringing in the ears Sinus pain Numbness Rashes Cough Blood in the urine
Blurred vision Hearing loss Nose bleeds Tingling in different parts Sores Chest pain Foamy urine
Loss of vision Tinnitus Runny nose   Recurrent Ulcers Shortness of breath Rotten proteinaceous smell in urine
          Trouble breathing Rotten proteinaceous smell in urine

What kind of sample is required for the test?

The sample specimen required to perform the ANCA Vasculitides test is the Serum type. The antibodies are present inside the blood. Thus, blood is drawn out by pricking the patient's finger using a sanitized needle. With the help of a capillary tube, 0.5mL to 1mL of blood serum is taken for examination.

The lab tests are done to monitor the disease activity. Therefore, it takes 3 to 5 days to get your results for the ANCA Vasculitides test.

Do You Need To Prepare For The Test?

There are no such specifications for taking the ANCA Vasculitides test. The test is meant to detect Antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies, which are natural serological markers used to identify vasculitis and glomerulonephritis.

You don't need to fast or prepare yourself before taking the test.

Are There Any Risks To This Test?

ANCA Vasculitides test is solely related to finding out about your blood components. So when the blood is drawn out for examination, you might have your finger pricked. It involves a slight stinging pain. If your body has a weak clotting mechanism, the bruise might take a day or two for healing. Other than that, there's no risk or aftereffects involved.

What Does The Test Result Mean?

If your ANCA Vasculitides test results come positive, it detects the abnormality of your antibodies. The test shows that your antibodies function abnormally, causing autoimmune disorders by destroying neutrophil cells. 

Next, the test confirms the type of antibodies presents inside the body causing the issue. According to a survey, positive test results of ANCA PR3 or ANCA MPO lead to 89% of patients diagnosed with active autoimmune disease.

Positive results for Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies (ANCA) test conducted to detect proteinase 3 (PR3)  - pANCA shows a consistent diagnosis of Wegener granulomatosis (WG) in patients. Some of whom may suffer from renal impairment and respiratory involvement.

Positive results for MPO ANCA and pANCA confirm the presence of ANCA Vasculitides with Microscopic polyangiitis (Mpa) or Pauci-immune Necrotizing Glomerulonephritis.

ANCA Vasculitides test takes 3 to 5 days to produce results. There are a few other tests that your doctor might advise you later, depending upon your condition. 

Related Tests: Antinuclear Antibody (ANA Blood Test), Differential Blood test, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), Proteinuria (Protein in Urine) 

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