What does HLA b27 positive mean?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A positive test means HLA-B27 is present. It suggests a greater-than-average risk for developing or having certain autoimmune disorders. An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.

A positive result can help your provider make a diagnosis of a form of arthritis called spondyloarthritis. This kind of arthritis includes the following disorders:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Arthritis related to Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Psoriatic arthritis (arthritis associated with psoriasis)
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Sacroiliitis (inflammation of the sacroiliac joint)
  • Uveitis

If you have symptoms or signs of spondyloarthritis, a positive HLA-B27 test may help confirm the diagnosis. However, HLA-B27 is found in some normal people and does not always mean you have a disease.

A positive result means HLA-B27 was found in your blood. You may have a higher-than-average risk of certain autoimmune diseases, such as ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis. If you are white, you are more likely to test positive for the HLA-B27 antigens.

The first human leukocyte antigen (HLA) haplotype association with human inflammatory disease was discovered in 1972, correlating HLA-B27 with ankylosing spondylitis. This remains one of the strongest known associations of this disease with HLA-B27. Since then, more than 100 disease associations have been made, including many exclusively ocular diseases and also systemic diseases with specific ocular manifestations. [1] These latter conditions include reactive arthritis (previously referred to as Reiter syndrome), inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriatic arthritis.

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