Scl-70 antibody testing can be done by a number of different methods. Historically, Scl-70 antibody testing was mostly done by a technique called double immunodiffusion (ID), which is considered to be the most reliable Scl-70 antibody testing method . ID testing is time-consuming and expensive. Because of the difficulty and cost of doing Scl-70 antibody testing using ID, almost all labs have switched to ELISA or Multiplex testing.
While Scl-70 antibodies are considered to be highly specific to systemic sclerosis (SSc), a number of studies [2,3,4,5] have documented that patients without a clear diagnosis of SSc often consistently test positive for Scl-70 antibodies when testing is done by ELISA or Multiplex testing methods. One example of this occurs in some patients with a diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). While the reasons for this are not fully known, some researchers have suggested that dsDNA antibodies may be cross-reactive with the antigen used in Scl-70 ELISA testing assays [3,4].
Clinicians may be aware of the false-positive Scl-70 antibody testing problem; as a result, when they see an initial positive Scl-70 result, they will often order a repeat test at the same lab, thinking that the problem is a testing precision error. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the Scl-70 testing issue, the repeat test will frequently also be positive, leading the clinician to (incorrectly) assume that the Scl-70 test result is accurate and that the patient has SSc.
Unfortunately, recent research suggests that the false positive Scl-70 antibody testing problem is much worse than previously realized.
Last week, a study  was published online that compared Scl-70 antibody testing of 129 patients by three different testing methods: Multiplex, ELISA, and ID. Without going into a lot of detail, here are the key findings from this study:
- Of the 129 patients who tested positive by Multiplex, only 51 (39.5%) of the patients were positive when tested again using ELISA
- If you then took the group of 51 patients positive by Multiplex and ELISA and retested them using the much more accurate ID testing method, only 21 (41.2%) were positive by ID
- Since ID testing is considered to be the “gold standard” for commercial Scl-70 antibody testing, this suggests that out of the 129 patients who tested positive by Multiplex test, 108 (83.7%) of these were false positive results!
Another way to look at the data:
- Of the 129 patients who tested positive for Scl-70 antibodies using Multiplex testing, only 33 of the 129 patients (25.6%) had a formal diagnosis of systemic sclerosis (SSc)
- Of the 51 patients who tested positive by Multiplex and ELISA testing, 23 of the 51 patients (45.1%) had a formal diagnosis of SSc
- However, if you look at the 21 patients who tested positive by all three testing methods, 19 of the 21 patients (90.5%) had a formal diagnosis of SSc
While there was no data in this paper that looked at Multiplex result level versus diagnosis, the paper does indicate that a cutoff of 110 ELISA units was highly predictive of an SSc diagnosis. ELISA units for the patients who were also positive by ID ranged from 70 to 129. The normal range for this particular ELISA assay is 0 to 20, so the 110 SSc diagnosis cutoff is more than five times the positive cutoff of 21 units.
There is a second paper about to be published on this same topic that shows similar results. We can’t go into the details on that paper since it is not yet formally published, but that paper does show a correlation between how high the Scl-70 result is versus a formal diagnosis of SSc. In that paper, there was a similar cutoff – if the Scl-70 result was at least five times the minimum cutoff for positive, it was highly correlated with a formal diagnosis of SSc.
(One key limitation of both of these recent studies. You cannot generalize the results to other Multiplex or ELISA testing kits. It is possible that other testing kits might be either better or worse than these recently published results.)
In summary, if you test positive for Scl-70 antibodies by Multiplex or ELISA at a high level (at least five times the positive cutoff), it is highly likely that the result is not a false positive, according to two recent studies. If the Scl-70 result is in the low to moderate range, then additional testing is needed to determine if the result is a false positive. The best way to do this is to retest for Scl-70 antibodies at a lab that still does testing using the more accurate double immunodiffusion method. In the US, we are only aware of one lab that currently offers ID testing for Scl-70 antibodies, RDL Reference Lab in Los Angeles. We do not currently have any information on the availability of ID testing for Scl-70 antibodies outside of the US, unfortunately.
- Domsic RT, Medsger TA. Autoantibodies and Their Role in Scleroderma Clinical Care. Curr Treat Options Rheumatol. 2016;2(3):239-251. doi:10.1007/s40674-016-0050-y.
- Meier S, Mikuls TR. Positive Predictive Value of Anti-Centromere and Anti-Scl-70 Antibody Multiplex Assays in a Rheumatology Practice Setting. Arthritis Rheum. 2011;63(Suppl 10):694..
- Elicha Gussin HA, Ignat GP, Varga J, Teodorescu M. Anti-topoisomerase I (Anti-Scl-70) antibodies in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 2001;44(2):376-383. doi:10.1002/1529-0131(200102)44:2<376::AID-ANR56>3.0.CO;2-2..
- Mahler M, Silverman ED, Schulte-Pelkum J, Fritzler MJ. Anti-Scl-70 (topo-I) antibodies in SLE: Myth or reality? Autoimmun Rev. 2010;9(11):756-760. doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2010.06.005..
- Bizzaro N, Tozzoli R, Tonutti E, et al. Variability between methods to determine ANA, anti-dsDNA and anti-ENA autoantibodies: a collaborative study with the biomedical industry. J Immunol Methods. 1998;219(1-2):99-107.
- Homer KL, Warren J, Karayev D, et al. Performance of Anti–Topoisomerase I Antibody Testing by Multiple-Bead, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and Immunodiffusion in a University Setting. JCR J Clin Rheumatol. 2018;00: 00–00
Ask to have the confirming Scl-70 test done, LabCorp 520012. If confirmed positive, get a referral to a scleroderma specialist for further evaluation. Do you have a separate positive ANA/IFA test?
I have a question regarding the scl70 testing. 6 years ago I tested positive while I was in the hospital being treated for histoplasmosis however the doctor told me that I didn’t “look” like someone with scleroderma so it wasn’t a concern. Fast forward to now and I am on a mission to find out why I am so sick all the time. The doctor just redid my labs and I tested positive again with a number of 6.4, but yet again he is dismissing it because I don’t “look” like someone with this. Is he correct? Am I just getting false positive tests or should I be asking for something else?
I appreciate your input. I forgot to mention I have dry eye syndrome, and dry mouth, but am negative for antibodies associated with Sjogren’s. Thanks again for your advice. Have a blessed day.
Thanks for your quick reply! I appreciate your input.
Thank you for your quick reply! I will be following up with him this week and request it.
Ed or anyone with credible advice,
I forgot to add that I do have a diagnosis of dry eye syndrome and have dry mouth as well, and the Rheum mentioned my reflexes were somewhat diminished, but I tested negative for the Sjogren’s antibodies. I am active and otherwise healthy.
Thanks in advance for any help.
ANA patterns are not consistent or reliable, so the normal focus is on the antibody itself. But, I would recommend that you ask your PCP to order as a follow-up LabCorp test 520012 to see if the Scl-70 is accurate. I have seen false positives a couple of times in the above 5.0 range, but it is not common. Your symptoms aren’t classic for that antibody.
Ed or anyone with credible advice,
My PCP ordered ANA which was positive at 1:160, speckled- Dense fine speckled, but due to symptoms including the fact that my whole body (other than my face) quit sweating about 10yrs ago which causes a whole plethora of yucky symptoms when I get overheated which is easy to do, so the pcp referred me to rheum. I am young (38y/ female), otherwise active and healthy other than being overweight. Anyway….Get referred to Rheum who orders some testing based on these things and my SCL70 was positive, norm is less than 1 and I am 5.4. I am in shock and disbelief! I am praying it has been a false positive especially since I have the DFS pattern. When I go for my follow up this week, what should my questions for the dr be? I have been trying to look back at symptoms or things going on with me in the past and of course have myself freaked out, but I feel like other than the no sweating which by the way has been going on for a decade, dry skin and arthritis symptoms I feel like this has to be a false positive, but then I read that whole statistic about how its likely to be true if the result is greater than 5x the cutoff for normal which I obviously am at 5.4 although not by much. Insight, advice and/or prayer are welcomed.
I would recommend asking your doctor to order the LabCorp test 520012 to give a definitive answer on the Scl-70 antibody. Note that if that turns out to be negative, there are about nine other potential scleroderma specific antibodies, but it is worth noting that the dense fine speckled pattern is often seen without a clear underlying autoimmune disease.
Firstly I’d like to thank you for this article as it is very reassuring. I see your comment below to Christine recommending to push for a LabCorp 520012 test. I had two separate tests done at Quest. The first was an ANA Multiplex w/ reflex 11 AB Cascade and showed positive for SCL-70 Antibody at a level of 2.3. The second test that was done was an ANA Screen, IFA w/Refl Titer and Pattern and that showed Positive IFA and a titer of 1:80. The pattern was nuclear, dense fine speckled. I have been negative for HLA-B27 as well as the DNA ds. My rheumatologist does not think I have scleroderma, but also is not sure what the problem could be that is manifesting as the symptoms I’m having. Would you recommend I try for this test as well, or trust that I am not likely to have scleroderma? I don’t want that to be my diagnosis of course, but I am getting very frustrated with not having a diagnosis at all.
My understanding is that the chemiluminesence test that RSL/LabCorp is now using is equally reliable with ID (immunodiffusion). Although that data has not been formally published. I would push for the LabCorp 520012 test.
I still find so much of this confusing. I recently received my bloodwork back and it says I have a SCL-70 of 2.8 and an ANA IFA of 1:80 which is technically a low antibody level. However I went to see a rheumatologist for the bloodwork because about 5 weeks post Covid I started getting acid reflux and my fingers started to swell. I’ve woken up to swollen fingers every day since. My right hand is puffier than my left and it gets much better throughout the day. They used the Multiplex testing method through Quest Diagnostics so I’m not sure what to think. I’m going to see a scleroderma specialist but not until the end of November unfortunately. I guess what I want to know is…what the heck does this mean? Haha. Thoughts? My doc wants me to retest but I’m wondering if I should get it tested at LabCorp instead even though they no longer do the ID test. They do use ELISA which could be better than the Multiplex? Or at least give different numbers for a better understanding? Thanks again and apologies if my comment is repetitive from others. I tried reading through a bunch but everyone’s numbers seem to mean different things. Anyhow, thanks again!
What was the ANA titer and what symptoms led to testing?
Thank you so much for this great article.
I am wondering if you have any insight as to how ANA results correlate with false-positive versus true positive results of scl-70. I have a speckled pattern on ANA with positive scl-70 antibodies, and I’m anxious to know what’s the likelihood this isn’t a false positive. Thank you very much.
It may be useful to get clarification on your Scl-70 results by ordering LabCorp test 520012.
I recently tested positive for ANA at 4.059 range<1.000index.
Reflex panel tested dsDNA at 86 range<25IU flag H SCL-70 at 27 range<20EU flagH All other values within normal range.
Had 2 positive ANA’s at ratio1/160 then1/320 quite a few years ago no other findings then a negative one in 2017. Diagnosed. Years ago with poly myalgia rheumatic a and treated with low dose prednisone up to now. Started on plaquenil in 2021 to help get off prednisone. Had primary peritoneal cancer in 2002 and breast cancer in 2014. Lots of. Chemo, taxanes, Carboplatin,
And cytoxan used to successfully treat both. Use of letrozole, tamoxifen…since 2014 causing joint pain and other issues. Had intermittent episodes of Raynauds
for over 10 years. GI issues with hiatal hernia, GERd. Esophageal stricture with associated symptoms since 2015. Also had megolablastic anemia treated with ongoing b12 injections. Rheumatologist and I are stunned at these latest results. He thinks they are accurate and reflect systemic lupus and a relatively low positive for systemic
Sclerosis. What do you think? Hoping for better news. Thanks!
That is in the range where it is hard to predict. Getting the confirming test at LabCorp, code 520012, is the easiest way to figure this out.
If I had a positive ANA and 2.5 IA for SLC-70 is that considered a low result? Homogenous and nuclear dot pattern. Could this be a false positive? It was done using the multiplex assay. I will plan to have my doctor order the additional testing you mention from LabCorp.
Great, what a relief!!! Thank you so much for your help and this article and information:
LabCorp test 520012 is a two stage test. The first stage is a test done by the ELISA method. The normal range on that test is <20. If your result is <20, it is negative and testing stops. ELISA tests can have false positives but almost never have false negatives. If the ELISA test is positive, a second test is done by a different method that may have false negatives in a few cases (it is less sensitive than the ELISA test), but doesn’t have the false positive issue. In your case, the ELISA test was normal so you are negative for Scl-70 antibodies and no further testing was needed.
My 520012 lab test came back “<20”; it didn’t specifically say “negative” but is that a negative?
Grateful for your article and all you’ve done! Cynthia
Will do thanks
I have no idea. I don’t think it matters but call the lab.
Hi again Ed,
Thanks so much for your advice; I’m re testing tomorrow with the 520012 test. I was considering fasting beforehand do you know if that is a good idea?
Thanks so much , Ed. I’m trying to order the 520012 test on labcorp now.
If you have no symptoms and an Scl-70 at that level, research suggests that it is likely to be a false positive. The LabCorp test 520012 should be able to determine that. I have no idea what the out of pocket cost would be for that test. It has two prices depending on whether or not the first test, done by ELISA, is negative or not. You might be able to call LabCorp and ask them about pricing.
Hi- I was told by my doctor that I was “slightly positive” for SCL 70 today. 1.0 AI
I don’t have symptoms; I have pain in my toes but I think that’s extensor tendinitis not fibrosis- I also came back fine for all my internal organs – just higher cholesterol. I’m freaking out because I don’t want to have SSc and reading about all these false positives makes me hopeful and angry at the same time. How do I order the LA ID test that is actually accurate? And how much is it? Please tell me this sounds like a false positive? Everything else on the ANA was negative (lupus, RA etc) thank you so much
Thank you so much, Ed. I will talk to my doctor after the lung testing and let you know.
A few general comments on this. First, I can’t comment on clinician symptoms as I am not a clinician. Second, I am not aware any reason why taking collagen supplements would have any effect on Scl-70 antibody test results. Third, systemic scleroderma is a clinician diagnosis supported by lab tests, not the other way round.
However, your Scl-70 results are not clear. What was the actual result and normal range? Do you have a separate positive ANA result? If so, what was that result?
I hav had eye rash issues on and off 2019 and maybe one prior.
The last 6 months has been more persistent and severe.
5 months ago learned of arthritis in my spine c2-T2
Bone spurs, arthritis, degenerative & dehydrated discs,
I had an auto unibrow blood test
795.79 (ICD-9-CM) – R76.8 (ICD-10-CM) – Scl-70 antibody positive <0.20
I have Reynauds,, occasional heartburn, dry eyes,
Rash around eyes, itchy, bumps, red areas, 2 time breast cancer survivor had 5 months weekly chemo 5 years ago.
In the last year had what I thought was a had bump on finger maybe from a splinter never removed & could ce calcification as when try to peel away area it remains.
5 years of week right thigh muscle (assumed from chemo & 9 months off from work during surgery & treatment).
I was taking in my smoothies most days a collegian supplement : KyaniHL5 – Peach
101ENHL5P with Hydrolyzed Collagen 5 g about 5 days a week.
1) Could this caus a false positive for Scleroderma?
2) is the above blood test considered a diagnosis of
I can’t see Rheumatologist for two months!
Because pulsed plasma exchange (PPE) has to be continued indefinitely, like all treatments for systemic scleroderma (with the possible exception of autologous stem cell transplants), it is important to be able to do this locally. If your doctor is open to learn more about this and wants to talk to a doctor who is doing PPE, I can connect them.
Thank you so much for your comment, Ed! My rheumatologist referred me to a pulmonologist to do the testing. I’m still waiting on them to call me.
I read your article about Therapeutic plasma exchange and am very interested. Do you know how to find a good specialist in this practice?
I also wanted to ask if you know where I can find a good specialist in therapeutic plasma exchange, I read your articles and am very interested. I live in Florida but can travel if needed.
Thank you so much for your comment! My rheumatologist sent a referral to a pulmonologist to do the testing. I am still waiting on a call from them to set up an appointment. I was hoping that it might be a false positive because of COVID. Now I need to accept it and watch closely for symptoms.
Statistically, it is very rare (under 2%) to actually have more than one scleroderma specific antibody. That would suggest that it is likely that the Scl-70 is a false positive. Having the LabCorp 520012 test to determine this would be an option to discuss with your doctor. Assuming that this is actually a false positive, then you would be dealing with centromere antibodies. This is the most common antibody associated with a clinical diagnosis of limited systemic sclerosis, but it is very important to understand that this is a clinical diagnosis, supported by lab tests, and not the other way around. You have to have enough corresponding symptoms to meet full diagnostic criteria. I will note that in diagnosed patients with this antibody, Raynaud’s is usually the first symptom, and frequently the only symptom for several years before other symptoms such as puffy fingers or GERD start to appear. The only other comment I will make is that many specialists when they see a lab result like this start to monitor you more closely, often beginning with some baseline testing, including a pulmonary function test (PFT). There is a long-term risk of developing lung problems with centromere antibodies, including pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH), so a baseline PFT can be useful to make sure that your lungs are doing OK. Again, this is an appropriate topic to discuss with your doctor.
Thank you for answering all these comments! I found a lot of useful information here!
I recently got positive Scl-70, ANA, and ANTI-CENTROMERE B ANTIBODIES
My first test was done after I was sick with COVID and had some joint pain in my fingers and toes. My SCL-70 was 4.2 and CENTROMERE B 6.1
I got referred to the rheumatologist and he ordered more tests. This time ANTISCLERODERMA-70 ANTIBODIES were 1.9 and ANTI-CENTROMERE B ANTIBODIES 5.1. I also tested positive for SPECKLED PATTERN 1:640. SEDIMENTATION RATE-WESTERGREN – 4. HLA-B27 was negative, C-REACTIVE PROTEIN, QUANT was 2. I have no symptoms of scleroderma although I started noticing that my fingers and toes would get slightly whitish if I’m cold or stressed but I’m not sure if it is something new or if I had it before. I always had cold hands and feet and nose. With all those tests coming back positive is it 100% that I have scleroderma?
Yes, thank you! So we just need to ask for the 520012 test then if I’m understandimg correctly. He did indeed have a positive ANA/IFA result with a very low scl70 (1.1), cutoff being 0.9 for negative.
The 520012 is just Scl-70 and there is no need to re-order an ANA/IFA test again. If the ANA/IFA was negative with a 1:40 cutoff and the Scl-70 was positive, most clinicians assume (usually correctly) that the Scl-70 was a false positive. You normally wouldn’t order this special test unless the ANA/IFA test was positive conbined with a suspect positive Scl-70 result.
One other question I would like to ask in addition to the one below about ordering test 520012.
Should we be asking the doctor to order the ANA test again in addition to this 520012 or will that confuse matters
In other words, if an ANA test is ordered again as it had been and we also ask for 520012, is the 520012 also going to do the ANA test?
I’m trying to figure out if I need to just ask for the 520012 only and that will provide the current ANA number as well as the more accurate Scl 70 number.
Thank you so much! I tried to post a previous comment but kept getting an error so you may have duplicate messages from me.
We will ask the doctor for that specific test 520012 through LabCorp.
Ok, thank you, this is number I thought from the things I have read, however, when I called LabCorp the other day, the representative that I spoke with told me they did not have that number, this is why I was confused. We will ask the doctor to order that specific test number 520012.
I truly appreciate your help!
The test code you want is LabCorp 520012. They will initially test by ELISA, which is less likely to have a false positive result than Multiplex. However, if that is positive, then they test with a new method that is supposed to be equivalent to double immunodiffusion (according to the lab director). As you can see with the comment below, some people test positive on both multiplex and ELISA but negative with the more accurate test.
I’m hoping you or someone on here could point us in the right direction. I apologize in advance that this is so long but I want to be as detailed as possible for my specific question. My husband has no symptoms of any kind. He went to the doctor for a physical recently, all of his blood work was great and all normal as well as his examination by his doctor.
The doctor ordered an ANA test in addition to all of his other blood work. We had never heard of this test. So all of his labs came back and the ANA was still a pending lab that we got 2 days later.
His results read like this:
Antinuclear Antibodies, IFA
*Then there was a second test below that, it read:
ENA + DNA/ DS + ANTICH+ CENTRO + FA – Details
Your Value: 1:640
Dense fine speckled pattern is noted. This pattern suggests the presence of DFS70 antibody which has a low prevalence in systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases.
*Below that there are 9 different tests listed, all of them are Negative. However, the one that is slightly elevated out of range is
Anti- Scleroderma- 70 Antibodies
I have read that there is a problem with false positives and these test results and that for accuracy it has to be done using the Immunidiffusion method. I looked up RDL labs as suggested but see that was acquired by LabCorp. I then called LabCorp and asked them which method they used and they confirmed that my husband’s test was done using:
018705 Multiplex Flow Immunoassay
Could someone please advise where I should call and what test or test number I should be asking for to get him retested?
LabCorp told me ( at least the representative I spoke to) told me that they do not test using the Immunidiffusion Method.
Thank you to anyone for your help!
Hi Ed, I just want to say thank you for recommending the LabCorp 520012 test. It confirmed that my “positive” Scl-70 results (both Multiplex and Elisa) were false.
This is actually a fairly common scenario. What is most likely going on is that the Scl-70 is a false positive and the centromere antibody is correct. The fact that the rheumatologist indicated that it is likely that both results are false positives is a good indication that the rheumatologist is not a scleroderma expert. An expert would know that with centromere antibodies, early skin changes are actually quite rare. Your best option would be to get a referral to a scleroderma specialist for further evaluation.
I have suffered with unexplained bladder pain for the last 6 years and was told I had a Purpera disorder. More recently, I went to the ER with severe chest pains. I was sent home with an anti-inflammatory and told it was pleurisy. After this, I requested an ANA test (ELISA) from my primary care doctor. I was then referred to a rheumatologist after having a positive ANA, anti-centromere (3.0) as well as positive anti-scl70 (1.7). My rheumatologist/ arthritis specialist told me that they are probably false positives because I do not have any current skin symptoms. He did order new testing via IFA and I am currently waiting for the results. Do you have any thoughts about this? My chest pain has not improved in over a month. Should I look for a new rheumatologist?
One of the problems that research shows is that there are a significant number of cases where Scl-70 can repeatedly test positive my multiplex and to a lesser extent ELISA and still be a false positive. The LabCorp test (520912) that is done at the RDL specialty lab uses the best testing method that I aware of. If you were ANA/IFA negative and positive with that test, it would be extremely unusual.
I have to respectfully say that ANA IFA is not all that good either guys I have had like 5 of them test all negative done at different labs however I have had the scl 70 at a few different labs and all come out positive and I have celiac disease confirm by biopsy kidney disease do to a autoimmune disorder confirm with kidney biopsy plus test positive for other antibodies but still negative for Ana Ifa
Glad to hear that it came out negative and I could be helpful. If you haven’t seen my talk on ANA and antibody testing in SSc, you might find it interesting: https://youtu.be/0KwOICL2Tl8.
Happy New year Ed!!! We ordered the SCL 70 antibody through LabCorp which also came back positive it was then sent to RDL labs in California and the results came back NEGATIVE!! Thank you so much for all your information, without your article we would not have known this. And I am a primary care physician. Thank you and stay well!!!
Thank you soooooo much Ed. I will let you know the outcome of RDL labs.
Yes, but that leaves five others to check for at a minimum: U1-RNP, U3-RNP, Th/To, Ky, and PM-Scl…
She tested negative on the other too( RNA Polymerase and centromere) where checked by the Rheumatologist. I’m assuming that’s a good thing.
It only means she doesn’t have Scl-70 antibodies. There are at least nine other antibody based variants of SSc. Two others are common: centromere and RNA polymerase III.
Yes, it can be.
So if my daughter gets the SCL 70 test via LabCorp and RDL laboratories in California and it comes back negative does that mean she will never develop scleroderma or is that just currently she does not have it. Thank you so much For answering all my questions.
Knowing now that she has silicone breast implants…. Do you still think with ANA being neg and scl 70 moderately high that the SCL70 could still be a false positive??
There is some recent data suggesting that breast implants might trigger autoimmune diseases in genetically susceptible individuals. It is not specifically linked to systemic scleroderma and the incidence of this occurring is not that high, but there may be a link where the implants trigger the disease. There is no way to establish this on an individual basis, however. It is a statistical linkage only.
Yes the ANA was done using IFA methodology. Thank you again. Also is there any relationship with Scleroderma and the fact that my daughter has silicone breast implants for about the past seven years.
Thank you so much Ed, her ANA was done by the IFA method. So this was most likely a false positive. I will wait a couple of months and do the immunodiffusion test done through the lab Corps reference lab thank you so much for the reassurance.
Thank you so much Ed, I looked into it and it was an ANA/IFA that was negative. Thank you for the reassurance and have a wonderful day.
The most useful initial test to figure out if the Scl-70 is a false positive is an ANA/IFA test. If that is negative, the Scl-70 is almost certainly a false positive. The other way to find out is for her doctor to order a special Scl-70 test from LapCorp, code 520012. Blood is initially tested for Scl-70 antibodies by a method that can have false positives but rarely has false negatives. If that test is negative, testing stops and you can assume the earlier test is a false positive. If the initial test is positive, it is retested with a more sensitive test that doesn’t have any significant false positive problems. If the follow on test is negative, then you can also assume that the initial Scl-70 result is a false positive. Please be aware that false positive Scl-70 tests will usually repeat as false positives if testing is redone at the same lab using the same testing method. Many clinicians are not aware of this.
Hi. Well the Rheumatologist ordered many tests such as dsDNA, complement levels , cardiolipin antibodies, lupus anticoag, rheumatoid factor, centromere, RNP, glycoproteins ALL WERE NORMAL OR NEGATIVE I’m not certain but looks like the ANA was part of an auto immune panel. And since it was negative the titers weren’t performed. Only the SCL 70 came back at a level of 72. Her initial ANA that was positive came back from her PCP during her physical. Because she complained that occasionally her interphalangeal joints of her hands hurt. So then upon seeing the rheumatologist and after review of the bloodwork he recommended following up with us SCL 70 yearly because she didn’t have symptoms indicative of systemic sclerosis/sclera derma. We worried because of the test results. But it seems like this is most likely a false positive by your opinion? Also, let me add she had the Auto immune panel done a week after recovering from Covid. Thank you for your response!!!
In the vast majority of cases, if an ANA done by the IFA method is negative and Scl-70 antibodies are positive, the Scl-70 is a false positive. Was the positive ANA just the results of the ANA panel that included the Scl-70 test?
Hello, my 27 y old daughter had a positive ANA ( no titer),
Went to see the rheumatologist. Since her teenage years off anon she’ll complain that her into phalangeal joints of the hands hurt her in the morning and once she starts using them symptoms improve or go away, Her skin is completely normal, she has no acid reflux, the only other thing she has is proteins C deficiency which is on the lower end of abnormal with her bloodwork. She takes lovinox during her pregnancy..Her grandfather had rheumatoid arthritis. So when she saw the rheumatologist her SCL70 was72 and ANA neg. he Recommended repeating blood work in one year because she is asymptomatic. I guess what I’m asking is is my daughter have scleroderma?
It is amazing how often this situation arises, especially with Multiplex testing. However, in some cases, especially where the ANA is clearly positive and symptoms suggest SSc, it may be the case that someone has a different antibody that is not included in the initial panel. This is a complicated topic. I am glad you were able to get this sorted out.
A follow up from last year.
I had a weakly positive SCL-70 at 1.2 (greater than 1.0 a positive at my lab) with a negative ANA tested to 1:80 or less (that lab’s cutoff) which I posted about last year. Repeat testing a few months later again showed weakly positive SCL-70, again at 1.2 and ANA negative at 1:40 or less.
This week had follow up labs. Again, ANA negative at 1:40 or less and this time the SCL-70 negative at .7 (less than .9 is negative).
So, consider me a poster boy of how this test can be a false positive.
Ed, thanks again for running this website.
If only they’d just run an ANA with reflex I would have avoided a lot of worry and retests.
What was the ANA titer? What was the Scl-70 result and normal range? Those are both key questions in trying to figure this out. However, in most cases, if you have a positive centromere antibody and a high positive ANA and a low positive Scl-70, the Scl-70 is a false positive, but the centromere is not a false positive.
I came back positive for ANA, as well as scl-70 and centromere b. I’ve been referred to a rheumatologist but I’m trying to wrap my head around this. Is it likely that I actually have Scleroderma since I’ve come back positive with all 3 of those? Or is their still room for a false positive?
This is an antibody screening panel where the Scl-70 can be a false positive. You need another ANA/IFA test to begin to evaluate this.
First of all, thank you for your hard work and research. It appears you have helped many people. 5 years ago, a naturopath tested my ANA which came back negative, with a positive SCL 70 of 7.4. Freaked out, I went to a Rheum who said you can’t have a negative ANA and positive SCL 70. Fast forward to today. I had hypersensitivity pneumonitis from Parrots I own. Pulmonologist ran an ANA with the results below. Can you decipher this information? No other information is given.
SCL-70 AB SCREEN 2.7 AI
0.0 – 0.9 AI H
NUCLEAR AB SCREEN 2.7 AI
0.0 – 0.9 AI H
This multiplexed bead immunoassay ANA test collectively detects ANA
specific components against:dsDNA, chromatin, ribosomal P, SSA 60/52,
SmRNP, RNP A/68, SCL-70, Jo-1 and centromere B.
A negative ANA screen indicates that the levels
for all the above-mentioned antibodies are below the pre-
established cut-off values (10 IU/mL for dsDNA and
1.0 AI for all other antibodies).
A positive ANA screen (>10 IU/mL for dsDNA and
>1.0 AI for all other antibodies) indicates the presence
of one or more antibodies in concentrations exceeding
its cut-off values for positivity. The value for the antibody
with the highest antibody index (AI) will be reported.
This is actually a very common situation, unfortunately. Typically, when you do an antibody test twice, especially at different labs or with different testing methods, this means that the positive result is a false positive. One question here is which antibodies you have been tested for in addition to centromere and Scl-70. If you look at the Antibody section of the Scleroderma FAQ, you will see ten antibodies listed. Three are common: centromere, Scl-70, and RNA polymerase III. If you haven’t been tested for RNA polymerase III antibodies, that would be the next most logical step in figuring out what is going on. If that is negative, then you can test for most of the remaining rarer antibodies easily, but in the US, it is difficult to test for U11/U12-RNP and RuvBL1/2 antibodies.
I have a confusing situation. I recently had bloodwork done in feb of this year and found a positive ANA of 1:80. My Anti-Scl-70 IgG was also tested- it came back at 3 u/mL and my paper work says NEGATIVE. It says the ref range is <7 = Negative.
I had more blood work done this month by a different doctor and lab. Scl-70 came back at 3.5 but this time says POSITIVE with a ref range of <1 = negative. I’m very confused why the previous test said negative and had a different reference range. My symptoms are extreme fatigue and headaches. I have a homogeneous pattern. Negative anti-centromere and negative Anti-ccp.
Thanks so much for any information.
Yes, that can occur. If she has no symptoms, I would suggest getting a confirming Scl-70 test done at LabCorp, order code 520012.
My 15 year-old daughter tested had a positive ANA with 2.7 AI on SCL 70 antibody using Mutiplex. Four months later she was re-tested and results came back at 4.0 AI. She has no other symptoms and all other antibody test came back normal. Would it be possible for it to be a false positive and still have the number get larger? And is this large number a sign that it is not a false positive. Thank you for your help.
The key first question is whether or not you have had a separate ANA test done by the IFA method. A positive result would be a two part number like 1:320 and would include a staining pattern. The Scl-70 you are reporting was most likely done as part of a general ANA screening panel. It is in the range where previous research suggests that it is likely to be valid, but not always. Assuming the ANA/IFA test is positive, if you want to find out if the Scl-70 is a false positive, then your doctor can retest for this antibody at LabCorp using test code 520012. Note that even if your Scl-70 result turns out to be a false positive, it can be the case that you have a different systemic scleroderma specific antibody that was not tested for as part of the initial ANA screening panel.
I recently had bloodwork done because I started with Raynauds this past winter. I have lots of joint pain, a new issue with dry eyes, and have had very itchy skin on my forearms in the past but not presently, and have recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea which is the reason why I was in the doctors office. I live in NY state. I had a positive ANA with SLC-70 of 4.0 and an ALT of 32 in the metabolic panel, but I don’t know what type of test was done. I have an appointment scheduled for the end of the month with a local rheumatologist as this was the best I could get. I have been doing research online. First thing tomorrow I plan on calling to get a consultation with one of the Scleroderma Centers in New York. I just came upon your webpage. Should I be looking into retesting? You mentioned RDL Reference Lab in Los Angeles, is that the only one in the country? If so, how would I go about being retested? It sounds like it would be complicated, but I don’t know anything about it. If I went to a Scleroderma Center in NYC for instance, do you think they would be aware of the issues with the SCL-70 and reorder testing? To say the least, finding out I likely have diffuse scleroderma is frightening. I would rather not wait a month to see a general rheumatologist who likely is not up on all this as it is considered a rare disease. Do you have any insights you could give me?
Wonderful. I look forward to reading it. I had a surprisingly difficult time trying to get the tests that I wanted ordered. After my exam my Rheumatologist said that he didn’t think I had scleroderma, and that a positive test (multiplex method) does not mean a diagnosis. While this was hopeful news, his advice was to watch and wait. He knew nothing of the method they had used to test me, or of the possibility of a false positive. He did tell me that he sees positives “all the time,” that don’t result in a scleroderma diagnosis. This to me is alarming.
I did receive my final results from the Id method today, and it was negative. I am trying to understand why doctors wouldn’t share the possibility of a false positive, or even seem to be aware of it. In fact, my doctor discouraged me from being retested because he said it will continue to show positive. Then the hospital itself tried to deny me the test, saying that they wouldn’t send blood out of network to be tested. I found a LabCorp facility within a couple hours of my home, and only when I said I would get the test ordered through a private practice doctor did they finally concede and allow it to go through.
I am interested in doing something to get this policy changed, or in bringing more awareness to the false positive problem. I know my experience pales in comparison to those who results didn’t come back negative, but there are probably countless people walking around wondering if they are dying because they received a false positive and didn’t know to advocate for themselves the way I did. I can’t thank you enough for being here, and I would like to help in anyway I can.
Unfortunately, I haven’t written the full paper yet because I have so many other projects and research papers on my plate. I am going to be doing a talk on ANA and antibody testing in the next month or so and that will be a great time to finish the paper.
First thank you so much for responding to my prior question, and for the work you do. I wanted to let you know that I did have the 520012 ordered. The ELISA came back positive at 28. I am waiting for the confirmation from the id method.
I wanted to ask when the second paper on the test results will be coming out, or where I can find it if it’s already been released?
As you can understand, we can’t give any clinical recommendations or do any type of diagnosis. I can tell you that a significant portion of the population, especially older people, have positive ANA at 1:40 and even 1:80 without ever developing active autoimmune disease. A positive antibody test would always be more reliable than a staining pattern. I can tell you that your symptom profile has a lot of symptoms that are not classic for systemic scleroderma. I support your decision to see a rheumatologist. S/he will probably do detailed antibody testing as a next step, but do stay aware of the false positive Scl-70 antibody issues if that antibody tests positive. You might want to then do a confirmatory re-test at LabCorp if initial antibody testing is not done there.
So glad I found this site. Ed, thank you for everything you do on this site. Incredible. History: 14 months of worsening conditions. Started with unexplained frozen shoulder in right side, then constant pain from shoulder to fingers. Loss of coordination, dropping things, fingers curling in. Saw a neurologist, no pinched nerve, had EMGs etc. MRIs like crazy, nothing to indicate the issue. Few months later progressed to pain in the right leg. Weakness, difficulty walking, constant nerve pain. Over time, muscle wasting in the right leg. Few months later, hit the left side. On neurologist number 3 right now, who finally ordered ANA testing. ANA, IFA positive. Tested positive at 1:40 for AC-27, AC-1, AC-2, AC-4, AC5- and AC-29 (this one is specific to diffuse scleroderma). Neurologist says “that’s a low level, wouldn’t worry”. But when I looked up diffuse scleroderma I have concerns. I’ve been sick most of my life (currently 43). Thickened gallbladder had to be removed in my 20’s. Thickened uterus had to be removed two years ago. Unexplained and nearly uncontrollable sudden onset of silent reflux three years ago. Scar tissue developed in throat. Completely normal blood pressure my entire life until two years ago. Now taking medication. I have flare ups. I can go two to three weeks and feel relatively normal. Then I have a flare up and end up in the bed for days. I have only a few minor skin concerns. An unexplained raised rash on my right knee for 10 months and one on my right shoulder for 6 months. Some rough patches that I don’t understand here and there. Trying not to overreact, but I went ahead and booked a rheumatologist appointment for follow up. Is this result of 1:40 too low to worry about as my neurologist suggested? You mention that the IF test is fairly reliable.
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Thank you so much for answering my questions. I’m very grateful for your response. I would like to stay abreast with your work and support your cause now that I am aware of things of this nature.
If your feet are turning white sometimes, that is Raynaud’s. You may well have something going on but it may not be related to Scl-70. The best options to determine what is going are to: 1) get an ANA/IFA test done, and if positive, have the Scl-70 re-run at LabCorp with test code 520012. This goes to a specialty lab that uses a testing method that doesn’t have false positive problems. If the ANA is positive, but the more accurate Scl-70 is negative, then you can have additional antibody testing done to try to figure out what is going on. Raynaud’s can be secondary to a number of different diseases, not just systemic sclerosis.
I probably should mention that I do have extreme sensitivity to coldness in my feet and it turns white. So, that had me concerned that it may be true.
ANA direct is a panel, not an ANA/IFA test.
I had the ANA direct test with LabCorp and I’m not sure what method they use.
It is very likely to be a false positive. Was a separate ANA test done by the IFA method? If not, running that will help. If it is negative, the Scl-70 is almost certainly a false positive.
I recently was diagnosed with lichen planopilaris and the dermatologist wanted to see if I had other underlying issues because I had a lump on my thumb that had to be removed which was thought to be a giant cell tumor, but the result came back as a ball of scar tissue. However, I never sustained a injury to my thumb. Additionally, I had a lump on my ear that was removed and the could never seem to figure out what caused it. I recently tested positive for ANA and the Antiscleroderma-70 Antibodies with a 1.2 range and was wondering if this could be a likely false positive?
Thank you for taking the time. It sounds like I do have it and this is something to come to terms with. I live in Oregon and unfortunately there are no specialists here. I do hope I somehow have the false positive.
Amanda, your ANA testing was done correctly by IFA. You can always tell IFA testing because the result is a titer – a two part number like 1:320. That is actually a dilution factor. If you go to the Diagnosis section of the Scleroderma FAQ, you will see the formal criteria for diagnosing systemic scleroderma. X-rays are not typically used for diagnosis. I would encourage you (or anyone else in your situation) to try to get a referral to a scleroderma center/expert. They will have better equipment for diagnosis such as a high magnification nailbed capillary microscope and will be up to date on diagnosis and treatments. Many general rheumatologists are not well trained in this rare disease.
I do have much fatigue and muscle soreness in my back mainly. If they tested using ifa which I think I read was the multiplex and least reliable testing. Is it still only slightly possible that this is a false positive? I guess Im worried that scl70 is mostly present in diffuse scleroderma and that my organs are at risk. I havent read anything positive regarding life expectancy. Do be officially diagnosed and/or ruling out scleroderma, what is the process? What do xrays, etc show?
You will need to have your doctor order the test at LabCorp (520012). You are in the range where false positives can occur, but are not common. Also. Raynaud’s is often not the first symptom with Scl-70 antibodies. Pain and fatigue are common initial symptoms. Getting retested at LabCorp is your best way of starting to figure out what you are dealing with.
Hi, there. I tested positive for 1:320 ana with speckled pattern and scl70 of i think 3.46 the cutoff being 1. I was tested at quest diagnostics. Needless to say Im freaking out and havent been contacted by a rheumatologist in a week and a half. I dont think I have any obvious symptoms. Maybe a slightly rough patch on my foot. Otherwise no raynauds. Can I request a test at labcorp or does a doctor need to send this? Are my chances high as far as blood work?
It is definitely possible at that level. I can’t comment on “likely” because I don’t have additional information such as the results of a senate ANA/IFA test. Doing the RDL Scl-70 test should tell you what your situation is.
I recently got a basic ANA panel done at Labcorp and came back with a positive ANA and an SCL-70 of 2.9 (on a 0.0-0.9 scale). I don’t have any symptoms of scleroderma, I got tested because I’d been getting sick more frequently since I had Mono and had wanted to be certain nothing serious was going on before moving countries. Needless to say this has me very scared and worried. I am 24 and just starting my life. I’m going to do the more specific testing you suggested, but was wondering if you think it’s possible/likely it was a false positive, if only to ease my mind for the time being. I’m not sure that it matters, but I had a ear/sinus infection at the time of draw which I’m still getting over (it’s only been about 5 days since I was drawn). I also didn’t have any other signs of inflammation of anything besides a slightly elevated thyroid hormone level.
At that level, false positives are common but it can also be valid. A separate ANA test done by the IFA method (as recommended by the American College of Rheumatology) can help to interpret the result. However, if your doctor can order tests from LabCorp, there is an easy way to figure out if it is a false positive. Retest the Scl-70 using an ordering code of 520012. This will sent out the test to RDL, a specialty lab now owned by LabCorp. What RDL does is to first test using ELISA. If it negative, testing stops because false negatives are very rare with ELISA testing. However, if it is positive, they re-test using double immunodiffusion (ID) that is considered the gold standard testing method and doesn’t have the false positive problem.
I just got a positive scl70 test. I had never heard of it before and I have no symptoms. I had two consecutive miscarriage so they ran an ENA screen, which was positive, and then my scl70 was 1.6 AI (with .9 being the cutoff). I am not sure what the difference is between an ANA screen and ENA screen. Is it likely that this was a false positive? I have a referral for the rheumatologist but no appointment has been scheduled yet, as they just put the referral in on Friday. I am pretty worried, and I was relieved to find this article. I’m hopeful there is some other cause for the positive result.
i do not believe that collagen would have affected your lab results. You are in a tricky situation to evaluate. There is a correlation between ANA titer and antibody level, so with a low ANA titer, a low Scl-70 could be valid. The only way to tell is to have it retested using a more accurate testing method. Since this article was posted, LabCorp purchased RDL so if you doctor can order tests through LabCorp, s/he can easily order the more accurate RDL version of the Scl-70 test.
I had a positive ANA test 1:80 and it should be <1:80 and an ENA done my results came back positive on the Scl-70 Ab my level was at 1:5 but should have been <1:0. I don’t have many of the symptoms of Scleroderma. I am taking collagen supplements and I’m wondering if the collagen may have affected my lab resukts
I came across your story and I started crying because it sounds very similar to me and my heart goes out to you. I was diagnosed with IBS over 15 years ago so not sure if it’s related. I also had endometriosis a few times over 20 yrs ago but not sure if it’s relevant. I tested positive ANA 1:2560 a few yrs ago. My first symptom started in 2007 while on vacation There’s been a lot that’s happened between that time and now. I am unable to work or even drive a car. I have to take pain medicine throughout the day because if I stop taking it I feel like I have the flu at first and then I feel like I’m being crushed in a car compactor. i’ve been seeing a rheumatologist for years now and though I have tested SCL 70 positive every time except once, He said that it could be a false positive and I didn’t understand what that meant so I did research and now I’m reading about why he feels that way. I read the list of scleroderma symptoms and I have about 9 or 10, but he still isn’t convinced. I have a dry patch on my Rt hand for at least a year. Then, this week another dry patch of skin on Lt hand in same spot. I’m constantly scratching my arms because they itch. I am researching trying to figure out what is wrong with me and why I hurt so much. They think the shingles virus woke up an auto immune disease in me in 2014. I was then diagnosed with a bad case of Postherpetic Neuralgia after a mild case of Shingles, but some drs said it can’t be on both sides of the body so they added fibromyalgia. I get really bad burning pain on my thighs mainly. I fainted at my doctors office during an EKG and sent me to ER but instead of them figuring out that something was wrong with my heart the ER dr told my husband I had a panic attack and I should see a Psychiatrist. My chart very clearly states I already see one for depression and not having a job and not being able to drive my car. My husband was so mad at the doctor he took me home right then. Days later I was diagnosed by a cardiologist with idiopathic tachycardia. Due to this new development of my heart I can’t take diet pills anymore. My joint pain is sometimes so unbearable all I can do is cry. I used to just be walking through the kitchen and all of a sudden feel like an electric bolt was going through my whole body and I would scream so they did EMG and of course normal results, but that doesn’t happen anymore and I don’t know if It’s because I take Lyrica now. I’ve gained so much weight they labeled me obese and then I tested prediabetic for the first time. I was choking quite a bit almost every day and so after getting tired of it I told my doctor about it and they did a swallow study and found out I had three problems so I see a speech therapist and the exercises are really helping. I’ve never had heartburn or reflux in my entire life, but right now if I don’t watch what I eat it will flare up. my feet recently started swelling but I haven’t been back to the doctor to tell him about it. I have cried over this so much and I just want to know what’s wrong with me. I want to know how to stop the pain. I know if it truly is Scleroderma then it is slowly developing. They tested for other autoimmune diseases and it always comes back negative.
After reading all the comments today I am going to look into paying for the ID test in Los Angeles. Hopefully this will be easy to do. Did you ever find out if you had scleroderma?
This is my first post like this. I will keep you In my prayers.
With a completely negative ANA/IFA and a very low Scl-70, most clinicians would consider the Scl-70 to be a false positive. To confirm this, you would need to re-run the test at RDL Reference Lab or any other lab that can test for Scl-70 antibodies using double immunodiffusion, a procedure that does not appear to have any false positive problems.
Ed, just an update … repeat ANA by IF from a different lab, almost 3 months later, still negative at a 1:40 cutoff. But still SCL-70 positive at 1.2. Was able to get in with an excellent local rheumatologist and watchful waiting is the plan, as well as sharing this article with her. Thanks again for what you do and continuing to cross my fingers I’m one of those folks you wrote about in the article.
Thank you for the kind comments. I am always happy to try to help in any way that I can.
Ed – just wanted to thank you for taking the time to respond to these questions. Deeply appreciated.
Your involvement here and other places has helped a lot of folks.
If you are ANA negative by IF with a low positive Scl-70, it is almost always a false positive. However, there is one exception. If the lab uses a 1:80 cutoff for the ANA/IFA test, you could have a titer of 1:40 and in that case it is possible that the Scl-70 is very low because you are very early in the disease process. That is unlikely, however. If you don’t have symptoms that would correspond with this antibody, that increases the likelihood that it is a false positive. If you want to know for sure, you can re-test the Scl-70 at a lab like RDL in Los Angeles. The use a more reliable testing method called double immunodiffusion, which doesn’t have the false positive problem.
Negative ANA but positive scl-70?.
I was just tested and had a negative ANA by IF but they ran an antibody panel anyway showing positive at 1.2 (reference range 0 to .9 and have no formal diagnosis yet and equivocal symptoms. What is the significance of this positive scl with negative ANA??? Thanks so much for your time.
At that level, the research suggests that it is rarely a false positive. However, I have seen a couple of cases where it was upon re-testing by immunodiffusion. If your symptom profile fits diffuse systemic scleroderma, it is probably not a false positive.
What would an SCL -70. Score of 8
Should I get the better blood test done??
A recent paper (Homer et al 2018) suggests that Scl-70 levels in this range are very likely to be false positives. If you have a recent ANA test taht is done by the IFA method and is completely negative, it is very likely that the Scl-70 iis a false positive. However, if you have the ANA/IFA test done at a lab that considers a titer of 1:40 to be negative, then it is possible that the Scl-70 could be valid. The easiest way to determine if the Scl-70 result is a false positive is to retest it at RDL Reference Lab in Los Angeles (that send testing kits anywhere in the US or Canada). RDL is the only lab commercial lab in the US that I am aware of that that tests Scl-70 using a method that is considered to be the “gold standard” testing method – double immunodiffusion (ID). They actually test initially by a less expensive method – ELISA. If that is negative, then there is no need for further testing. If it is positive, they re-test by ID and often find that the initial positive ELISA result was a false positive.
Hello, I just recently tested positive for ANA with positive Scl-70 of 1.3 and the test stated Multiplex. I am due to see the rheumatologist next week. I have had ANA test before always negative but from time to time have had lupus-like symptoms of extreme fatigue, body aches, etc, but have always gone away. I do not have skin thickening or hardening or physical symptoms. Autoimmune does run in my family (my brother has lupus and my daughter has Celiac). Do you think it is a possibility that the Scl-70 was a false positive? All other markers were negative.
You may or may not have systemic scleroderma. It is hard to say at this point, although you certainly have some symptoms consistent with a systemic scleroderma diagnosis. It is often then case that even when patients have systemic scleroderma with a positive Scl-70 antibody result, that may not be the correct antibody because there is a high false positive error rate, especially when the results are low positive. In about half of the variants of systemic scleroderma, you may not see skin changes for many years. With diffuse variants of scleroderma, you do typically see skin changes as a fairly early symptom. Some doctors who are not scleroderma specialists may believe that scleroderma requires skin thickening for a diagnosis and that is not all the case.
What I am mostly concerned about is your blood pressure. With some variants of systemic scleroderma, sudden blood pressure spikes can be an early marker for developing scleroderma renal crisis. I would urge you to contact your primary care doctor or rheumatologist and let them know about the blood pressure spikes so then can order the appropriate testing to determine if that is what is going on.
Based on everything you are telling me, I would advise trying to get a referral to a scleroderma specialist for a diagnosis. You can go to the Scleroderma Foundation website at Scleroderma.org and find a list of scleroderma centers around the country.
I tested positive for diffuse schleroderma.
I the past I had terrible heartburn which we elevated the head of our bed to give some relief.
I also had esophageal spasms causing my esophagus to tighten upon swallowing food. I have tender spots of pain all over my body…not just in the spots defined for fibromyalgia. These spots are quarter size and emit a burning pain when pressure is applied.
Recently I have gained quite a bit of weight. About 45 lbs overweight. I am pre-diabetic. I have a lot of bowel issues…pain and recent constipation lasting for days while consuming laxatives. This causes bloating and low grade fever.
Another recent concern is my B/P and heart rate.
My blood pressure fluncuates from normal 120/80 to high systolic upwards to 170 and diastolic up to 113.
Resting heart rate sometimes goes up to 90-113.
B/P and heart rate are in the normal range most of the time. Then I get an unusual feeling in the pit of my stomach…and that’s my signal to take my blood pressure. Last week it was high all day. 161/113. Resting Heart rate was 100-113.
I also have developed duypetrends Contracture in the palm of my left hand and Ledderhose in the sole of my left foot.
My skin itches all the time. I sometimes have bruises from scratching! I have numbness and wet feeling on my thighs and some numbness in my fingers Tips! I have been diagnosed with hip dyspracia in which arthritis has set up. I have wide spread joint and back pain.
I have a little loss of sensation in my lower extremities.
Since I really have no skin thickening…I’m wondering if my diagnosis of scleroderma was a false positive and also wondering what auto immune disease I do have and if all these symptoms or issues toe in together somehow.
I was diagnosed as having fibromyalgia!
I’m just looking for a diagnosis as to what auto immune disease I do have ( if I have one at all) so I will know what to avoid and how to treat it. Just knowing I think will ease some of my stress over not knowing.
And it’s hard to find the right Drs. to go to.
That is a really great question. The key question is whether or not you have had a separate ANA test done by a method called IFA. If positive, the result would be a two part number like 1:320. If that test is negative, a positive Scl-70 is usually a false positive result, which is quite common in reality . If the ANA/IFA test is positive, then you probably do have an underlying autoimmune condition, but it could be many different diseases. Your rheumatologist would order follow up antibody test that would be consistent with your disease profile, so if you had scleroderma type symptoms such as Raynaud’s, swollen hands, and heartburn, s/he would order scleroderma antibody testing. If your symptoms pointed more to lupus, then you would be tested for different antibodies.
Hi. So with my false positive scl 70 result (the rheumatologist says I don’t have scleroderma), does it mean I may have something different wrong with me, or am I just fine? Thankyou