Signs of lupus

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The American College of Rheumatology has set forth an official list of 11 criteria for classifying a possible systemic lupus diagnosis. The presence of at least four of these criteria can lead to a possible lupus diagnosis.

• Malar rash: butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose

• Discoid (skin) rash: raised red patches

• Photosensitivity: skin rash as result of unusual reaction to sunlight

• Mouth or nose ulcers: usually painless

• Arthritis (non-erosive): in two or more joints, along with tenderness, swelling, or effusion. With non-erosive arthritis, the bones around joints don’t get destroyed.

• Cardiopulmonary involvement: inflammation of the lining around the heart (pericarditis) and/or lungs (pleuritis)

• Neurologic disorder: seizures and/or psychosis

• Renal (kidney) disorder: excessive protein in the urine, or cellular casts in a urinanalysis

• Heamatologic (blood) disorder: haemolytic anaemia, low white blood cell count, or low platelet count

• Immunologic disorder: antibodies to double-stranded DNA, antibodies to Sm, or antibodies to cardiolipin

• Antinuclear antibodies (ANA): a positive test in the absence of drugs known to induce it. However, a positive ANA test does not necessarily mean you have lupus.

— Lupus Research

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