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Lupus 101: Basics
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Some diagnostic Criteria for SLE

Many symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) as well as some other forms of lupus, mimic those of other illnesses, lupus can be a difficult disease to diagnose. Diagnosis is made by a careful review of three factors:
  • the patient's entire medical history;
  • the patient's current symptoms;
  • an analysis of the results obtained in routine laboratory tests and some specialized tests related to immune status.

An individual shows clinical evidence of a multi-system disease (i.e. has shown abnormalities in several different organ systems.
The ACR (American College of Rheumatology) has defined and refined a diagnostic criteria for SLE.(Lupus) If a patient shows at least 4 or more of these 11 criteria there is a likelihood of SLE.
  1. Malar Rash
  2. Discoid Rash
  3. Photosensitivity
  4. Oral Ulcers
  5. Arthritis
  6. Serostis
  7. Renal Disorder
  8. Neurolgical Disorder
  9. Hematologic Disorder
  10. Immunologic Disorder
  11. Abnormal ANA titer

In general, physicians look for evidence of autoantibodies in the following areas.
  • Skin: butterfly rash; ulcers in the mouth; hair loss.
  • Joints: pain; redness and swelling.
  • Kidney: abnormal urinanalysis suggesting kidney disease.
  • Lining membranes: pleurisy; pericarditis and/or peritonitis (taken together this type of inflammation is known aspolyserositis).
  • Blood: hemolytic anemia (the red cells are destroyed by autoantibodies); leukopenia (low white blood cell count); thrombocytopenia (low platelets).
  • Lungs: infiltrates that are transient.
  • Nervous system: convulsions; psychosis; nerve abnormalities that cause strange sensations or alter muscular control or strength.


Lupus 101: Basics

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