there a test for systemic lupus?
isnít any testing for systemic lupus
Why is systemic lupus so difficult to diagnose?
are several reasons why systemic lupus is hard to diagnose
It is a multi-system disease, before this disease with multi systems can
be diagnosed one needs lab reports and symptoms in several
parts of the body to support the presence of a mulit-system
It is very difficult to diagnose due to the slow onset for development.
The symptoms tend to come and go and it takes time to
accumulate enough to indicate the disease.
This is the great imitator because it mimics so many other diseases and
There has not been a single diagnostic test for lupus, which makes
diagnosing the disease extremely difficult.
is systemic lupus diagnosed?
Information is gathered from several sources including past
medical history, lab tests and current symptoms. A list of 11 criteria is used to diagnose SLE.
That person needs to have at least 4 out of the 11
criteria before the diagnosis can be pinpointed.
dealing with the 11 criteria 7 have to relate to symptoms,
and 4 must deal with lab tests.
Systemic lupus uses the ANA test for screening.
95% of the people with systemic lupus are ANA
positive. If a
person has an ANA that is negative and several symptoms for
systemic lupus you are not in favor for having lupus in
regards to the symptoms present.
on the other hand, the ANA comes back positive, that IS NOT
proof of lupus. The positive ANA is only an indicator; it is
not diagnostic. A positive ANA can be found in a number of
illnesses and conditions including:
If the ANA is positive this is an indicator not a diagnosis of
having lupus. Having
a positive ANA has been found in a number of illnesses and
conditions including the following:
arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, Sclerodema.
Infectious diseases include the following diseases
mononucleosis, malaria, subacute bacterial endocarditis SBE.
diseases include autoimmune thyroid disease, and autoimmune
are also known to cause a positive ANA, only about 20% of
the general population that test positive for ANA and can
have none of the above mentioned symptoms to the illness.
The ANA reading is only an indicator not diagnostic and
satisfies only one criterion and you need to satisfy an
additional 3 critieria.
can a person be sure that they have lupus or not, even if
they have all the symptoms and their doctor doesnít think
they have lupus or not?
11 criteria which is used to help diagnose lupus consist of
symptoms and lab testing specific for SLE.
Please do not confuse the 11 criteria for the common
symptoms of systemic lupus since the symptoms could be due
to a number of other conditions and illnesses.
physician may feel that if a person appears to have many of
the symptoms of lupus they could believe that lupus is
they can evaluate the patient and see if the criteria are
met. Remember you must have at least 4 out of the 11 to be
diagnosed with systemic lupus.
An expert in diagnosing lupus would be a
rheumatologist or a clinical immunologist.
someone has lupus how can they be diagnosed at the onset
instead of later with the disease?
is a slow developing disease which evolves over time, if you
are being seen by a doctor and you meet 1 or 2 criteria no
still cannot be sure as to diagnose you with lupus.
They cannot predict if you will develop the disease
to the point of diagnosis.
is variable when diagnosis is concerned, it could take
weeks, months or years.
Some have even been up 10 years to develop symptoms
that would indicate that one has lupus. A Doctor may have a pretty good but they cannot be certain
that one has SLE. It
is very important to note that if you have signs and
symptoms and something new develops let your doctor know.
doctor suspects I have lupus, but hasn't diagnosed me with
it yet. I have a lot of joint pain in my hands and knees.
Can anything be prescribed to give me some relief, or do I
have to wait until I have a definite diagnosis before they
can treat me?
medications have been found to be helpful with some of the
symptoms and one should discuss this with their doctor.
line positive lupus test means what?
test is called ANA which is antinuclear antibody tests and
all test have normal values.
If oneís test comes back at the upper limit of
normal this is referred to borderline.
It will have more importance if other criteria are
was told my ANA was positive, but I don't have lupus. My
Doctor thinks I have a connective tissue disease. What does
have a positive ANA, however no evidence of lupus but my
doctor believeís I have a connective tissue disease.
What does this mean?
are several symptoms of connective tissue disease which are
joints, tendons, cartilage, collagen, and muscles of the
skin. It is not
uncommon to have symptoms that indicative connective tissue
disease and not enough of the symptoms to specify lupus.
was told my ANA was negative, and I don't have lupus. Is it
possible to have lupus with a negative ANA?
people with systemic lupus have a positive ANA, and only a
small percent have a negative ANA.
Many have other antibodies that were detected in
their blood. An
ANA can sometimes convert form positive to negative
following administration of steroids.
kind of Doctor can diagnose systemic lupus?
specialist for systemic lupus diagnosis would be a
your family physician can make a diagnosis if multiple
criteria are met.
do not meet the criteria for diagnosis of systemic lupus is
there anyway I can slow down the development of the disease?
cannot arrest the development of lupus, but you could help
with your well being by considering the following:
* Educating yourself as much as you can about lupus so if
you develop further symptoms, you will recognize them and
notify your doctor,
* Eating a well balanced diet,
* Managing stress more effectively, and
* Take your doctorís advice
have a positive ANA with a lot of pain, I am being
considered for fibromylagia instead of lupus.
Fibro being most common in women could explain the
widespread pain, because having a positive ANA does not mean
one has lupus.
criteria are made on the basis of the ACR which was
established mainly for the use of its scientific research.
Patients may have lupus and never met the criteria in
mainstay testing for lupus involves the Anti-nuclear
antibody testing and the anti-extractable nuclear antigen.
Antibodies involved are the antiphospholipids which
occur often in SLE and can predispose you for thrombosis.
Other antibodies are the anti-smith and the anti-dsDNA.
which is lupus erythematosus used cell testing for
diagnosis, but the LE cells are only found in 50-75% of the
SLE patients. The
LE cell test is only being performed rarely.
following are the 11 criteria involved with diagnosis of SLE:
Rash on Cheeks
Exposure to light
and nasal ulcers
10. Anti-nuclear antibody test positive, very sensitive
(98%) but non specific.
are complex genetic disorders that share many symptoms with
lupus, but impact the enzymes responsible for building heme,
a component needed in heme proteins. Porphyrias are ecogenic
disorders requiring both environmental Porphyias are complex
genetic disorders which share several of the lupus symptoms.
Porphyias are ecogenic disorders as well requiring
both environmental and genetic backgrounds. The are sensitive to light and have been associated with
transient or permanent production of autoantibodies. In all lupus cases porphyias should be taken seriously when
patients are in a medical crisis.
Underlying porphyria is suspected when they are
photosensitive and are said to have drug induced lupus.
Patients with both lupus and porphyria should avoid
porphyrinogenic drugs and hormone preparations.
that have acute hepatic porphyries has been detected in
lupus patients with severe life threatening lupus
complications as neurolupus.
The symptoms involvedinclude seizures, psychosis,
Several other lupus symptoms have been associated
with porphyries which are pancreatitis, and pericarditis.
Porphrin testing should be performed on urine,
stool/bile and blood so you can detect all types of
test should be done on suspicious cases.
SLE is sometimes diagnosed in conjunction with
other conditions, including Rheumatoid Arthritis and