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HLA B27 Test
HLA B27 test is often ordered to monitor the progression of autoimmune disorders and other autoimmune disorders that may develop in patient.
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HLA B27 Test
HLA-B27, a human leukocyte antigen, is a specific protein found on the surface of cells. These antigens are vital proteins as they help the body’s immune system to distinguish between self and non-self cells. The HLA-B27 test is primarily ordered to detect HLA-B27 antigen and confirm the diagnosis of an autoimmune disease.
Why do the HLA B27 Test?
The HLA-B27 test results are given as positive or negative. However, neither positive nor negative results should be taken as a confirmation of the presence or absence of autoimmune disorders. Discuss it with your doctor to understand the results.
Human leukocyte antigens (HLA) are proteins present in the white blood cells. Their major role is in helping the immune system of the body to distinguish between foreign and self cells. Although their role is in protecting the body from harmful foreign substances, some antigens such as HLA-B27 handle abnormal functioning of the immune system. These antigens elicit an abnormal immune reaction resulting in autoimmune disorders.
The test is ordered when the following arthritis-like symptoms are observed:
- Inflammation in the joints
- Chronic joint pain
- Stiffness or swelling in spine, neck, or chest
- Recurring inflammation in the eyes
A positive test shows the person is at an increased risk of developing certain autoimmune diseases. A negative test shows HLA-B27 marker was not present. However, this is not a certain diagnosis of the absence of an autoimmune condition. Other tests may be required to confirm the results of the test. The autoimmune conditions associated with HLA-B27 occur more frequently in men than in women.
The most common autoimmune disorders associated with the presence of HLA-B27 in the blood are ankylosing spondylitis (AS), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), reactive arthritis, and, sometimes, anterior uveitis. HLA-B27 test is often ordered to monitor the progression of these and other autoimmune disorders that might develop.
When specific symptoms are observed, several other blood, urine, and imaging tests may be ordered, along with an HLA-B27 test, to confirm the diagnosis. These include Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), C-reactive Protein (CRP), Rheumatoid factor (RF), Joint X-rays, MRI scans, and a/a complete urinalysis.
The test may also be ordered with other HLA antigen tests when a patient is undergoing an organ transplant. It can ensure that the HLA antigens match with the donor’s. HLA antigen test can also be used for paternity testing.
There are no special precautions needed before undergoing this test. But, be sure to let your healthcare provider know about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you may be taking. The test involves collecting a sample via venipuncture. There are no risks associated with this test. HLA-B27 is found in some healthy people and does not show an autoimmune condition. Be sure to discuss the results with your doctor.
HLA B27 Antigen Test
- Overnight fasting is not required
- Doctor’s prescription may be needed
- The normal test result may vary depending on gender, age, health history, etc.
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