Tests for Lupus
Is Lupus Testing for Me?
Systemic lupus erythematosus, also known as SLE or lupus, occurs when the body’s immune system attacks normal healthy cells. Symptoms of lupus vary greatly, however, some common symptoms include butterfly rashes, low-grade fever, fatigue, hair loss, and joint pain.
Order this test if you have symptoms of lupus or have a family history of lupus. This test for lupus screens for two of the most common antibodies, antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and anti-double-stranded DNA (dsDNA).
Antinuclear Antibody Test (ANA Test)
The ANA test is the most common test for lupus. However, antinuclear antibodies can also test positive in several other autoimmune conditions. Because of this, dsDNA has been added to this lupus blood test.
Anti-Double Stranded DNA Test (dsDNA)
dsDNA is similar to ANA, however, it is highly specific for lupus. dsDNA along with ANA will give a specific indication of lupus.
Testing and Lupus Flares
Like many autoimmune conditions, symptoms can flare and recede. This poses a potential problem with testing. If a blood test is run during the calm period, then it is possible for the test results to be a false negative. Because if this, it may be necessary to be tested for lupus several times.
Other Helpful Tests for Lupus
If you test positive for an autoimmune condition like lupus, another testing may help you and your doctor develop an effective treatment plan to “turn down the volume” on the autoimmune attack. With any autoimmune conditions, tests like Th1/Th2 cytokines , CD4/CD8 ratio, and vitamin D are invaluable when deciding the best course of action.
What’s Being Tested:
- Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA)
- Anti Double-Stranded DNA (dsDNA)
Fasting Required: No