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Understanding HLA-B27 test

What is HLA-B27 blood test?
HLA-B27 test is a blood test to look for the HLA-B27 gene. This gene predisposes to a number of autoimmune diseases including Ankylosing spondylitis, Reactive arthritis & uveitis.
When is HLA-B27 test ordered?
Your Rheumatologist will order HLA-B27 test if he suspects Ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis. The suspicion is raised by inflammatory backache or pain/ swelling in knee/ ankle/ feet joints.
What does a positive HLA-B27 test mean?
A positive test means that the person carries the HLA-b27 gene. One inherits the gene from his/ her parents. This is not a diagnostic test. It does not mean that the person has Ankylosing spondylitis. A negative test does not rule out Ankylosing spondylitis.
How does HLA-b27 lead to Ankylosing spondylitis?
HLA-b27 gene plays an important role in helping the body distinguish between self & foreign proteins. You may know more about its role in causation of Ankylosing spondylitis on my blog.

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Also Read:
Pregnancy with Ankylosing spondylitis
What type of mattress is recommended for Ankylosing spondylitis
What is the risk of inheriting Ankylosing spondylitis?

Created on: April 2007
Last updated on: Feb 2015
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