In addition to those blood tests there are 'clinical signs' that the doctors I have seen look for. As far as the ANA (Anti Nuclear Antibodies) counts go it has been my experience that at 1:640 the Doctors didn't seem too concerned. Although the discomfort I felt from the clinical symtoms were adressed with medications to treat the different symtoms and nt the lupus itself. At that time I was told that they generally don't give the corizone treatment(pills or whatever form) untill the ANA gets over 1:2000. The closest I ever came was 1:1760. I wanted to avoid the prednizone at all costs. I had seen my grandson take it for asthma, he puffed up, gained weight and had a very cranky disposition.
I have been very fortunate and very carefull I have not had a full blown lupus crisis since 1990 (1:1760). I have come close once or twice. My doctor watches the SED rate and one other to do with the lymp system. My WBC has been as high as 26,000 and I am really well if it is 16,000 the lowest since 1988. Last time a problem was 2000 Spring I lost a pound a day and many counts were bad. No explanation at all. I doubled up on care. More rest, better nutrician, and just take it easy limit and/or ignor stressers. Take good care of yourself AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST.