Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)
Exams and Tests
Lupus can be hard to recognize, and it sometimes takes weeks to years to diagnose. Lupus affects different people in different ways. And it can take time for symptoms to develop.
Your doctor will record your medical history and do a physical Reference exam. He or she will check for certain Reference criteria to help diagnose lupus. These criteria include the Reference butterfly rash Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window and joint swelling.
Diagnosis and disease monitoring
If you have symptoms of lupus and you have a positive Reference antinuclear antibody (ANA) test result, further testing may not be needed.
If your doctor feels that further testing is needed, you may have one or more of the following tests:
- Other Reference antibody blood tests
- Reference Complement test
- Reference Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR, or sed rate) or Reference C-reactive protein (CRP)
- Reference Complete blood count (CBC)
- Reference Urinalysis
- Lupus anticoagulant test, such as a Reference partial thromboplastin time test
Checking for possible organ damage
As part of ongoing treatment for lupus, you may have a:
- Reference Urinalysis to check for protein and cells, signs of possible kidney problems.
- Reference Kidney biopsy, if your doctor sees signs of kidney inflammation. This test may help your doctor find the best treatment for you. Only a small number of people with lupus need a kidney biopsy.
To look for other possible causes of symptoms, imaging tests are sometimes done, depending on which organ systems are involved. Imaging tests include Reference CT scan, Reference echocardiogram, Reference MRI, and Reference X-rays.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 10, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology