what tests are done to determine if a child has lupus?
what tests are done to determine if a child has lupus? My daughter is 14 and has always been stiff in her joints. About a year ago she started crying and saying that she could not breath, her lungs hurt. I took her to her ped. doctor and he said she pulled her sternum. Gave her steroids and she started feeling better. About 4 months later, same thing happend, and again he said a pulled sternum. Steroids and she felt better. About 3 weeks ago, she fainted at school. The doctor thought she was anemic because she has very irregular periods. We have tried birth control and they are still irregular. Then she woke up and said that her shoulders were hurting her bad, after school that same day she came home and said her spine was hurting, she got up that night and said that the pain was under her ribs again. I said this cannot be a pulled sternum over and over.. She had been sleeping a lot. I decided it was time to take her for a second opinion. I took her to a different Dr. who did a series of test. Her ANA was Positive adnormal. Her RNP is high, her EBV Acute Infection Antibodies tested high. She has always been very stiff. Her flexability in her feet, legs, hips, wrists, and fingers have been compared to the flexability of a 60 year old woman. She has done PT to try and work her stiffness out, we had even put her in gymnastics and had a private coach work with her flexability for 6 months and she got no better. She has had bad headachs since she was about 4 years old, and she takes a persciption med. for them. The doctor is sending us to a childrens hospital in Dallas Texas to a rumitoid arthritis specialist to determine whether or not she has juv. arthritus or Lupus. I was wanting to here maybe from someone who has been tested and can tell me how invasive the tests are going to be. Thank You JC
Re: what tests are done to determine if a child has lupus?
Dear jdchane, welcome. I'm sorry your daughter is having these problems. I had the same at her age, so I'm glad she's seeing a rheumatologist soon.
For basic lupus info, see the three "sticky posts" (permanent info posts) at the top of the thread list. You'll find criteria for diagnosing lupus, tests, symptoms, helpful books, etc. (Look for the word "sticky".)
The first level of tests include physical exam, bloodwork (standard & specialized), and urinalysis; and these suffice for many people. If nothing so far in her standard bloodwork/symptoms suggests problems with major organs (kidneys, etc.), then I'd just go in with the firm thought she *won't* need more invasive tests. Many people don't, is what I mean.
Re: irregular periods, I was put on BC pills very young, but they made me worse, both periods & overall. However, in that era BC pills were stronger than they are now. After I was dx'ed many years later, my rheumie's assistant remarked how autoimmunes "love" estrogen & thus can flare badly during hormonal shifts. His comment struck home, as my longest flares had been at onset & during perimenopause. So while her rheumie should review everything, you could ask him to comment specifically on BC pills.
I'm only a patient, of course, so please read the above in that light! Anyway, I hope others chip in soon. Post more when you can, OK? Sending your daughter & you warm wishes. Sincerely, Vee