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Hi, my best friend is diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. I know that she was sick, but when she explained the seriousness of this condition, I was very surprised. I mean, she didn't have any serious symptoms. She was tired a lot and had high fever. I thought that it was flu. So I was wondering how doctors make systemic lupus erythematosus diagnosis.

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Hi, systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE, is a very serious condition that can be manifested through a number of symptoms. And these symptoms can also be found in a number of other conditions. That is why it is very hard for the doctor to make a conclusive diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus. The final diagnosis is sometimes made even after few years from the moment the condition was first suspected. The symptoms of SLE are not constant, but show up in flares, so the doctors have a hard time detecting the condition. However, there are eleven clinical and laboratory criteria that show a person has SLE. The diagnosis is established if a person meets four of the eleven criteria. But, the most important test is the antinuclear antibody (ANA) test that determines the existence of auto-antibodies characteristic for autoimmune conditions. If this test is positive, it means that a person has some kind of autoimmune illness and the doctor performs additional tests to determine the cause of the condition. There are some ANA tests specific for SLE, so when the patient has the symptoms of lupus and the ANA test is positive these tests are done for the conclusive diagnosis. I hope this helps!
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