What is an HLA-B27 test?

Human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27) is a protein found on the surface of the white blood cells. And the HLA-B27 test is performed to find out the HLA-B27 proteins

Human leukocyte antigen B27 plays an important role in the human body as it helps your immune system to differentiate between healthy body tissue and unknown elements that happen to be infectious for your body.

Since the key role of HLAs is to save your body from outside infections, HLA-B27 can also be harmful to the immune system. In many cases, the antigens can potentially cause immune system dysfunction. It can make the immune system destroy healthy cells, and if it continues, it leads to an autoimmune disease or immune-mediated disease.

What are the Symptoms the Test is Ordered for?

People with the following symptoms are suggested for the HLA-B27 test along with some other tests like blood, urine, or imaging tests to find out the reasons for autoimmune disease. Below are some common symptoms:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness or swelling of your spine, neck, or chest
  • Persistent inflammation in your eye
  • Urethra with skin lesions

When the HLA-B27 Test is Performed?

An HLA-B27 test is performed when your doctor finds some signs of chronic pain and inflammation in the spine, neck, chest, eyes, and/or joints. It is generally used to find out the presence of HLA-B27 if a doctor wants to find out the reason for autoimmune diseases.

The presence of HLA-B27 indicates some certain disorders or health conditions related to autoimmune and immune-mediated health problems such as:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Anterior uveitis

In addition to these health conditions, your doctor may also order for the test to check the development of autoimmune diseases.

How the Test is Performed?

It is a simple blood test that the lab specialist will draw the blood sample. Generally, no specific preparation is required; however, you must talk to your doctor if you need to stop taking any of the medicines you intake.