Access: Lupus Research -- Lupus Diagnosis
Research Summaries from 2012
Biomarkers-Driven Assessment of Lupus Progression
Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because the initial symptoms can often include common signs or symptoms of non-lupus origin. To help identify biomarkers of early lupus, the researchers aimed to establish a relationship between levels of specific autoantibodies and the evolution of clinical signs of lupus over time. The following were identified as significant risk factors for lupus progression: female gender, age less than 40 years, high baseline positivity for anti-nuclear antibodies, and increased IgG autoreactivity. These results are important and insightful, but need to be validated before being applied in the clinical setting.
Revision of Classification Criteria for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) revised their criteria for the classification of system lupus erythematosus in 1982. These criteria were created in order to help physicians classify, but not diagnose, people with lupus. Since that time, significant new insights about the mechanisms and etiology of lupus pathogenesis have emerged. Accordingly, to incorporate new knowledge about lupus into the classification criteria, the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Collaborating Clinics (SLICC), an international group dedicated to clinical research on lupus, revised the ACR classification criteria for lupus. In a two-tier process, SLICC used expert-rated patient scenarios to derive and validate the new classification rule. This 8-year effort included 33 rheumatologists, with expertise in lupus, from around the world and represents the largest validation study to date since the release of ACR’s 1982 classification criteria for lupus. The new SLICC classification rule is more clinically relevant, includes updates and more inclusive definitions of lupus-related variables, and improves upon the ACR classification criteria in several important ways.
Research Summaries from 2009
New Criteria To Be Tested For Lupus Diagnosis
The American College of Rheumatology established criteria for lupus in 1982, which were most recently revised in 1997. However, as time goes by and new research is completed, it makes sense to revisit how lupus is defined.
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Research Summaries from 2007
Early signs of lupus, even before a diagnosis can be made?
Diagnosing lupus can sometimes be difficult. Because lupus symptoms may come and go and resemble other illnesses, it may take months or even years before a doctor can sort out what is going on. The researchers wanted to find out which symptoms tended to appear early on in most lupus patients and what antibodies might be present before certain clinical symptoms appear. Of the 130 patients studied, 104 had at least one clinical feature present before the diagnosis was made.
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New Symptoms related to neonatal lupus
Neonatal lupus erythematosus (NLE) is a rare but serious condition that can occur in newborn babies, and is related to anti-Ro (SSA) and/or anti-La (SSB) antibodies, which can cross the placenta in pregnancy from the mother to the fetus. The researchers sought to determine if infants born with NLE were at greater risk for hydrocephalus, a condition characterized by excess spinal fluid in or around the brain, which in turn contributed to macrocephaly, an enlarged head size. The researchers found that the infants born to anti-Ro positive mothers developed hydrocephalus and macrocephaly at higher rates than would be expected.
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Anti-Sm antibodies and lupus disease activity may be important in predicting outcomes
It is still not possible to predict in advance who will develop lupus and, what course each patient's disease may take. The researchers hoped to sort through several of the probable contributing factors that could help predict the progression and severity of disease activity among lupus patients. Researchers in Canada studied the records of 330 patients from three different racial and ethnic groups who were diagnosed with lupus in Manitoba, Canada, over a period spanning more than 20 years and noted a number of differences among the three ethnic groups.
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