Holy Moley false positive syphilis test - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 6 Old 10-09-2008, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I get my blood work results back today during my appt....checking for my immunities, toxoplasmosis, STDs, etc, and the OB gets to syphilis. She stated, "Well your syphilis test came back positive... (pause) so we ran it though a more detailed test and the results were negative.

I was like... "soooo what does that mean..." (All the while thinking of how I'm going to hide DH's body).

She said that sometimes you can get false positives and that you are actually false for the disease. Sometimes it can be a signal that there are other issues like, Lupus, Rum. Athritis, and celiac's disease because those autoammune diseased carry the same marker.

Well she just acted like everything was fine and that I shouldn't be worried about anything....

Well me- the self diagnosing GOOGLer over here is still freaking out......
I mean wouldn't you think there was a reason your blood is showing something- I mean one test "confirmed" that I had syphilis, but the more detailed test (more expensive) test disproved that I had syphilis. So great I don't have syphilis- then why did I even have a false positive unless there was something hinky in my blood....

OMG this sucks- I mean I'm not that worried but it is still alarming to hear.

Any lab people in this group? phlabotomists (sp?)
help me understand- and not freak out any more. And again- I assure you that I worry about EVERYTHING anyway so this is just lovely LOL.

Blessed with two BEAUTIFUL little girls: Kylie (09/06) and Maggie (4/09) :
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#2 of 6 Old 10-09-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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Hi, I'm a medical student...you really should not worry, nothing is wrong. As your doctor said, the RPR test (1st syphilis screen) is not specific for syphilis infection i.e. it tests for a certain substance in your blood that can be elevated in many conditions...the ones you named plus believe it or not, pregnancy! That's why they always run the more specific test after a positive on the RPR. That test is specific for syphilis...so if it's positive, you have syphilis. Syphilis in most areas of the country is very rare, so if you test enough people for it with RPR test you are bound to get many false positives. But they test every pregnant woman because (and accept that they will get a certain number of false positives) syphilis can be so devastating to the fetus if an infection is not caught and treated early (very easily with penicillin). Hope that helps and puts your mind at rest...
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#3 of 6 Old 10-09-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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I know its not funny but your post made me laugh! winniesmom it's TOTALLY nothing to worry about. I have had similar things happen before! You'll laugh later!

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#4 of 6 Old 10-09-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeliphish View Post
(All the while thinking of how I'm going to hide DH's body).
OMG that is hilarious! A woman after my own heart.

Okay, as for the other stuff - I'll defer to people who know more about it than I.
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#5 of 6 Old 10-09-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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Don't you just love how clear doctor's are about everything?
They give you just enough to scare the **ll out of you, but not enough to ease your mind.
Ugh!
Sorry you had a bad scare. If you're still worried, tell that @^&$# doc of yours that you want to be tested for all that stuff she said the positive might indicate! Actually, you should do that anyway, perhaps then you'll get a better explanation.

Hugs!

43 w/Emphysema - TTC from 2005 - 2013. 2 miscarriages in 2008. Good things do not come to those who wait.

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#6 of 6 Old 10-10-2008, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winniesmom View Post
Hi, I'm a medical student...you really should not worry, nothing is wrong. As your doctor said, the RPR test (1st syphilis screen) is not specific for syphilis infection i.e. it tests for a certain substance in your blood that can be elevated in many conditions...the ones you named plus believe it or not, pregnancy! That's why they always run the more specific test after a positive on the RPR. That test is specific for syphilis...so if it's positive, you have syphilis. Syphilis in most areas of the country is very rare, so if you test enough people for it with RPR test you are bound to get many false positives. But they test every pregnant woman because (and accept that they will get a certain number of false positives) syphilis can be so devastating to the fetus if an infection is not caught and treated early (very easily with penicillin). Hope that helps and puts your mind at rest...

DEFINITLY puts my mind at rest
Thank you thank you thank you

Blessed with two BEAUTIFUL little girls: Kylie (09/06) and Maggie (4/09) :
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