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5 Key Reasons to Prioritize HLA-B27 Testing

In this blog post, we will shed light on five key reasons why you should prioritize HLA-B27 testing. By understanding the significance of HLA-B27 genetic testing, you can take proactive measures to manage your health effectively, leading to a better and more fulfilling life.


Let's decode the importance of HLA-B27 testing and its potential to improve healthcare outcomes.


Human Leukocyte Antigen-B27 (HLA-B27) is a gene that plays a pivotal role in the immune system, helping our bodies distinguish between self and foreign substances. Every individual inherits a set of HLAs (Human Leukocyte Antigen), genes that produce the various antigens seen on the cell surfaces, & have a unique HLA combination depending on whether an antigen is present or absent.


A HLA-B27 test examines the presence/absence of HLA-B27 protein on the surface of white blood cells.


Testing for HLA-B27, a genetic marker, can provide valuable information about a person's health and potential risk for certain medical conditions.

In our previous blog, we examined Ankylosing Spondylitis, its Symptoms, and the HLA-B27 Gene and how certain genetic variations in HLA-B27 are linked to various autoimmune diseases, most notably ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.


Given the importance of these conditions on Quality of life, it becomes important to explore the reasons why prioritizing HLA-B27 testing is essential.


Here are five reasons why individuals should consider getting tested for HLA-B27:

Five reasons to get tested for HLA-B27 - Diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis, Identification of Spondylitis, Risk assessment for Family Members, Management of Ocular uveitis and Gastrointestinal Conditions.
Five reasons to get tested for HLA-B27

  1. Diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis: HLA-B27 testing is often used to help diagnose ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a chronic inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine. A positive HLA-B27 result, combined with clinical symptoms and other tests, can support an AS diagnosis, enabling early intervention and treatment.

  2. Identification of Spondyloarthritis: HLA-B27 is associated with a group of inflammatory joint diseases known as spondyloarthritis, which includes conditions like AS, reactive arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Testing can help differentiate these conditions from other types of arthritis, leading to more targeted treatment approaches.

  3. Risk Assessment for Family Members: If an individual has a positive HLA-B27 result, their family members may also have an increased risk of carrying the gene. Testing family members can help identify those at risk for developing related conditions and may prompt earlier monitoring or intervention.

  4. Management of Ocular uveitis HLA-B27 is linked to certain eye conditions, such as anterior uveitis and iritis. Knowing one's HLA-B27 status can be crucial for individuals with a family history of these conditions, as it may guide proactive eye health measures.

  5. Gastrointestinal Conditions: Additionally, HLA-B27 is associated with some gastrointestinal disorders, like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and can influence the choice of treatment in such cases.


A Quick Note

While HLA-B27 testing can be informative, it is just one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. A positive result does not necessarily mean an individual will develop a related condition, and a negative result does not rule out the possibility entirely.


Understanding HLA-B27 test results should always be done in consultation with a physician or a specialist who can assess the complete clinical picture.





References

  1. Parameswaran P, Lucke M. HLA-B27 Syndromes. [Updated 2023 Jul 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551523/

  2. MARTIN TM, ROSENBAUM JTIdentifying genes that cause disease: HLA-B27, the paradigm, the promise, the perplexity British Journal of Ophthalmology 1998;82:1354-1355.

  3. (2019, March 9) Retrieved November 7, 2023, from https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/more-about/hla-b27-gene-and-arthritis

  4. Barhum, L. (2022, October 27). HLA-B27 Test For Ankylosing Spondylitis: Uses, Results. Verywell Health. Retrieved November 7, 2023, from https://www.verywellhealth.com/hla-b27-test-for-ankylosing-spondylitis-6748813

  5. Bowness, P. (n.d.). HLA-B27: natural function and pathogenic role in spondyloarthritis. NCBI. Retrieved November 7, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3240147/

  6. HLA-B27. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved November 7, 2023, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HLA-B27

  7. HLA-B gene. (2022, March 23). MedlinePlus. Retrieved November 7, 2023, from https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/gene/hla-b/

  8. Nguyen, H. D., & Dahl, A. A. (2021, April 9). HLA-B27 Syndromes: Overview, Pathophysiology, Clinical Features of HLA-B27 Syndromes - Acute Anterior Uveitis. Medscape Reference. Retrieved November 7, 2023, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1201027-overview

  9. Rath, L. (n.d.). HLA-B27 Gene and Arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved November 7, 2023, from https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/more-about/hla-b27-gene-and-arthritis


Disclaimer:

The content provided in this blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. The information presented here is not intended to replace professional medical consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Additionally, the graphics used in this blog are under the sole ownership of their respective creators. These visuals are included here for informative purposes only and do not imply any endorsement or partnership with the creators. All copyrights for the graphics are retained by their original creators, and their use in this blog is not intended for commercial purposes but to enhance the understanding of the topics discussed.



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