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Old 03-06-2009, 09:15 AM   #1
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Can you test positive and then have the test done again and test negitive for lupus.

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Old 03-06-2009, 02:39 PM   #2
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Re: lupus

Hi & welcome!

By "test", do mean ANA? Here's how I understand ANA, from what I've read:

1. In lupus, yes, it may fluctuate as you flare & recede.
2. BUT in & of itself, ANA is insufficient to Dx lupus. For starters, it's also positive in a number of *other conditions*, some autoimmune, some not, e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, Addison's, Hashimoto's thyroidtis, certain blood disorders, ETC. And it can be positive for reasons other than chronic illness, like a passing virus, a family tendency, aging, etc. Finally, it can even be positive in people with NO SYMPTOMS, in which case it's not medically significant.

Generally (not always), to be Dx'ed with *systemic* lupus (SLE), you must meet 4 or more very specific diagnostic criteria. They're listed on one of the "sticky posts" ( = permanent info posts) at the top of the thread list. The criteria are wide-ranging: some are physical symptoms, some are skin, some are blood results (meaning much more specific tests than ANA), some are kidney, etc. You'll note ANA is only one of many criteria listed.

While there are only two *specific* autoantibodies listed---anti-ds-DNA & anti-Sm---many more are possible in lupus. The reason only these two make the list is that they're the two seen ONLY in lupus, while the others are seen in *multiple* conditions & thus aren't considered "specific".

And there are *lesser* forms of lupus than "systemic", for which you may not meet 4 criteria. Some doctors & writers refer to these as "subsets". Examples: discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), where you may meet only a few; subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE, where you may meet less than 4, or more than 4), and drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE).

Above is probably a mess---it's such a complex subject! You could look in your local library for hardcovers by Dr. Daniel Wallace, or by Dr. Robert Lahita. Both are excellent.

Are you having symptoms? Have any of your standard bloodwork results gone off? Anyway, I hope you post more soon. Bye for now. Best wishes, Vee

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