Research Identifies New Non-Invasive Tests to Screen for and Monitor Lupus
New study findings suggest that saliva and urine tests may offer non-invasive alternatives to blood tests when diagnosing lupus and monitoring individuals’ disease activity. Today, while some urine tests are performed, most clinical testing for lupus requires drawing blood samples, and the potential use of saliva testing has not been closely explored.
Researchers assessed several different biomarker levels in the blood, urine and saliva of 81 people with lupus and compared them to samples from 21 people without lupus. (Biomarkers are short for “biological markers,” which are objective measures of what is happening in a cell or an organism at a given moment.) They found the levels of three key biomarkers were significantly higher in all three fluid samples in people with lupus compared to those without the disease. Elevated levels of one additional biomarker in blood and saliva only also distinguished the lupus-positive samples from the healthy samples. Saliva and urine tests were also helpful in identifying differences in lupus disease activity among both people with and without active kidney disease.
The findings indicate that both saliva and urine may be used to help diagnose lupus as well as identify escalating disease activity. Urine tests were especially informative in people primarily experiencing kidney-related disease activity. Learn more about lab tests for lupus.
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