Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can be difficult to diagnose because:
SLE may be suspected if at least 4 of the following signs are present with no other apparent reason:
Changes in the blood and kidney may be discovered through:
SLE can cause a variety of changes in the blood that can be different from person to person. Some factors that will be looked for include:
Presence of proteins, blood, or other substances in the urine may indicate changes in kidney function.
Guidelines for referral and management of systemic lupus erythematosus in adults. American College of Rheumatology Ad Hoc Committee on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Guidelines. Arthritis Rheum. 1999;42(9):1785-1796.
How is lupus diagnosed? Lupus Foundation of America website. Available at: http://www.lupus.org/answers/entry/diagnosing-lupus. Updated July 25, 2013. Accessed May 16, 2016.
Lupus. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Lupus/default.asp. Updated February 2015. Accessed May 16, 2016.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 29, 2016. Accessed May 16, 2016.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal_and_connective_tissue_disorders/autoimmune_rheumatic_disorders/systemic_lupus_erythematosus_sle.html. Updated June 2013. Accessed May 16, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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