What Is an SSA Blood Test?


Sjögren's syndrome is a disorder of the immune system that was first diagnosed in 1933 by Dr. Henrik Sjögren. Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation estimates that approximately four million people in the United States are affected by this auto-immune disorder that affects the moisture glands of the body. If your doctor suspects that you have Sjögren's Syndrome, he will most likely send you for a blood test that will positively identify the SSA antigen that is associated with the disease.

The SSA Antigen

  • The SSA antigen is also referred to as the "Ro/SSA" antigen. When SSA is found in combination with the SSB (la) antigen, it commonly points to Sjögren's Syndrome. In the book "The New Sjögren's Syndrome Handbook" author Daniel J. Wallace points out that a patient who tests positive for the SSA and SSB antigens on a blood test for Sjögren's Syndrome usually also tests positive for the antinuclear antigen (ANA).

The Test

  • The test that is given to identify SSA and SSB antigens in the blood stream often includes a CBC (complete blood count) as well as a liver and kidney function reading, blood glucose level reading and a Rheumatoid Factor (RF) reading. According to ClinLab Navigator, one tube of blood is needed to perform an SSA blood test, and the findings are recorded as either a positive or negative blood result.

Symptoms of Positive SSA

  • An SSA positive, Sjögren's Syndrome auto-immune disorder is systemic, commonly associated with the eyes and mouth, but sometimes affecting other systems in the body. According to Mayo Clinic, dry eyes and dryness of the mouth are both symptoms of Sjögren's Syndrome. The eyes may also itch and burn, and the patient may complain of difficulty swallowing due to the lack of saliva in his mouth. Painful swelling of the muscles and joints can also accompany a positive SSA blood test, along with a dry cough, rash and fatigue.

SSA Markers and Other Diseases

  • Patients who test positive for the Sjögren's Syndrome markers may also test positive for other diseases. Leukopenia and thrombocytopenia are both blood disorder that are sometimes associated with SSA positive patients. Vasculitis is a condition that causes an inflammation of the blood vessels which is also associated with Sjögren's Syndrome. According to John Hopkins Medicine, vasculitis is known as the hurting disease, defined by the intense feeling of pain that the condition can bring about.

SSA and Systemic Lupus

  • The SSA antibody can also show up in a blood test that is unrelated to Sjögren's Syndrome. In the book "The Lupus Book: A Guide for Patients and Their Families," author Daniel Wallace explains that SSA plays a role in systemic lupus, and categorizes it as a "cell surface component." He also notes that SSA is one of the very few antibodies that can cross the placenta of a lupus positive mother into the bloodstream of the fetus; inducing a neonatal form of lupus.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit http://www.sxc.hu/index.phtml
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • What Is a SGPT Blood Test?

    An SGPT blood test is a test used to measure the amount of the enzyme glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) in blood.

  • What Are Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibodies?

    Thyroid disease is a relatively common disease. If a doctor suspects a patient has thyroid disease, blood samples will be checked for...

  • Importance of Routine Blood Testing

    Routine blood tests are used to assess a person’s general health and blood condition. During a laboratory test, blood is extracted from...

  • What Are the Stages of Sjogren's Syndrome?

    Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder affecting approximately four million Americans, according to the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation. While both men and women...

  • What Is a Histone AB Test?

    Histone AB tests, also known as histone antibody tests, look for proteins in the blood. These histones are materials that bind DNA...

  • How to Read ANA Blood Test Results

    An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is a blood test used to diagnose autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It may...

  • How to Read an Anti-CCP Blood Test Results

    An anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody) is a blood test to assist in confirming the presence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). As part...

  • How to Interpret Blood Test Results

    Blood test results can be very complicated to sort through if you have no medical training. Ideally, you should discuss them with...

  • Can You Be Denied Employment for a False Positive?

    Drug testing for employment can sometimes be unreliable. If you test positive, it indicates the drug test found evidence of drugs in...

  • What Diseases Test Positive for ANA?

    Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) target normal proteins within cells, causing cell destruction and damaging healthy body tissues. The ANA blood test reveals the...

  • Auxiliary SSA Benefits for Children

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides auxiliary benefits to the children of disabled or retired parents, grandparents or step parents in some...

  • Differences Between SSI & SSDI Disability

    The Social Security Administration operates two programs that provide benefits for Americans with disabilities. Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, allows workers...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!