Lupus is an autoimmune disease or condition and diagnosis of lupus can be done by way of numerous diagnostic tools along with some lupus tests. Some common ways in which this diagnosis is done include taking entire medical history of the patient, physical examination along with biopsy of the skin and the kidneys. A number of lab tests may be undertaken to make a proper diagnosis.
There are a number of different lupus tests that are used for diagnosis. The physician usually asks for a complete blood count to be done. This is done as the blood can reveal a great deal about the condition of the concerned person. The white blood cells help the body by fighting against infections and are one of the indicators of any possible infection. This test determines the white blood cell count and too high or too low count can be indicative of some problems.
A complete blood count also includes determining the differential WBC, red blood cell count, hemoglobin along with the platelet count. For lupus the physician focuses on the WBC and RBC counts. Diagnosing a condition like lupus takes some time as there is no single test that can definitively point out this condition. Among the different lupus tests antinuclear antibody test or ANA as it is called is used to determine the presence of auto antibodies.
These auto antibodies tend to react against the components of a nucleus of a person’s cells. People suffering from lupus tend to test positive for the ANA test. So a positive ANA test can be one of the indicators that may be used by the physician. Some other lupus tests that can be used to identify individual kinds of auto antibodies include anti-RNP, anti-DNA, anti-Ro (SSA), anti-Sm and anti-La (SSB)
In addition to these lupus tests the doctor may also order erythrocyte sedimentation rate, blood chemistries, urinalysis along with biopsy of kidneys and the skin if such a need is felt. Likewise the doctor also detects possible lupus if the person has the characteristic lesions or rash. A chest X-ray can also be helpful in determining pleuritis or possible pericarditis. Urinalysis may be used to determine possible proteins within the urine. The physician will also use a stethoscope to determine any possible heart friction or pleural friction.
Some other lupus tests that may be used for a correct diagnosis include serum globulin electrophoresis, Coomb’s test, rheumatoid factor, mononucleosis spot test; complement component 3, antithyroid microsomal antibody and anmitochondrial antibody among others. Likewise lupus erythematosus cell preparation test or LE prep as it is called may also be performed.
Finally along with lupus tests the symptoms presented such as the butterfly rash, arthritis, discoid rash, mouth ulcers, kidney damage, and inflammation of lining in the lungs along with seizures and psychosis are also observed. The evaluation is based on 11 criteria in total and on the satisfaction of at least 4 criteria along with the tests can help the doctors to make a diagnosis of this condition.