Lupus is a diagnosis made by a constellation of symptoms, signs, and laboratory tests. Although the presence of autoantibodies, such as ANA and dsDNA are common in lupus, their presence alone is not sufficient to make a diagnosis.
Lupus Q & A
A positive blood test never makes a diagnosis of lupus. The positive ANA is still within the range of normal values, so it may be meaningless. The ANA test always has to be interpreted in the context of the patient’s symptoms (if any) and physical examination and other laboratory and urine tests. If you have no symptoms, then lupus is unlikely but then why was the test even obtained !!
Hi M/Dr. Mukherjee,
this sounds, smells, feels like lupus given the autoantibody profile. Your patient should see a rheumatologist to confirm the diagnosis and determine whether treatment is needed, or watchful waiting. Other possibilities are Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, but much less likely given the positive SM. Would also check anti-DNA antibodies. Good luck !!
Why on earth would you not tell your doctors about these conditions? In order for a physician to take proper care of you, all medical information should be divulged. Of course, it is quite possible that you don’t really have lupus or one of your doctors might have suspected it already.
Over time prednisone can have the following effects:
weight gain, thinning of the skin with easy bruising, loss of bone (osteoporosis and fractures), necrosis or death of bone at the knee or hip, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and increased risk of infection.
Sounds nasty, doesn’t it? There are other drugs for lupus that allow folks to come off the steroids – for example, cell cept, methotrexate. You should discuss these with your rheumatologist.
An abnormal lab value never directly hurt anyone. Seriously, though, this is a high value but it can only be interpreted in light of the patient’s symptoms and physical examination and other laboratory values (kidney function, blood counts, etc.). So, you should ask your doctor why he/she got it, and what it means. If he/she doesn’t know, maybe you had better see a rheumatologist. Anti-DNA positivity can often mean lupus but some people have these antibodies without any obvious disease.