Choosing Wisely: Indications and Interpretation of the Antinuclear Antibody Test in Primary Care
The diagnosis of autoimmune rheumatic disease (ARDs) remains a significant challenge for healthcare providers, particularly primary care clinicians, where the patient often first presents with problems to be evaluated. As signs and symptoms of ARDs often overlap, or even exist as non-rheumatic disease, laboratory testing can prove very useful in helping clinicians to differentiate a diagnosis and classify disease. The immunofluorescence antinuclear antibody assay (ANA-IFA) is the gold standard for ANA testing, yet clinicians lack sufficient knowledge as to how to correctly use it in conjunction with a thorough history and physical exam. This program will discuss evidence-based clinical strategies to effectively screen patients who present with signs and symptoms suggestive of an autoimmune rheumatic disease, including the appropriate use and interpretation of ANA-IFA tests.
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