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Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: The ACR's clinical and laboratory criteria for DX Lupus


 lilwhitepaws - Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:07 am

I noticed that there are a lot of questions about Lupus, so I thought I would share some general information from the ACR about diagnosing lupus.

There isn’t a definitive test that clearly tells a doctor whether or not a patient has Lupus, there are however, tests that can indicate that Lupus or another autoimmune disease may be a possibility.

Below is some information the ACR put together to help doctors diagnose Lupus.


The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has developed clinical and laboratory criteria to help physicians diagnose and classify lupus. If you have four of the 11 criteria at one time or individually over time, you most likely have lupus.

Face rash, which doctors call a malar rash, which is butterfly shaped and covers the bridge of the nose and spreads across the cheeks

Scaly rash, which appears as raised, scaly patches

Sun-related rash, which appears after exposure to sunlight

Mouth sores, which are usually painless

Joint pain and swelling that occurs in two or more joints

Swelling of the linings around the lungs or the heart

Kidney disease

A neurological disorder

Low blood counts, such as low red blood count, low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), or a low white cell count (leukopenia)

Positive anti-nuclear antibody tests, which indicate that you may have an autoimmune disease

Other positive blood tests that may indicate an autoimmune disease, such as a positive double-stranded anti-DNA test, positive anti-Sm test, positive anti-phospholipid antibody test or false-positive syphilis test.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:31 pm

User avatar Hello,
Thanks for posting.
 lilwhitepaws - Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:31 am

You are very welcome Tom. I'm a RN myself, I had gone back to school in hopes of becoming a nurse practitioner but I suffered a brain stem stroke in November of 2007. My docs were concerned about the stress that goes with the job and they thought it would be best if I retire.

I miss the medical world terribly, I started doing in home health care when I was 16 and loved it so much that after I graduated from high school I went to college to become a nurse, it was (and still is) my passion in life. It has been extremely hard for me to walk away from the medical field, so I thought maybe I could contribute to your forum a little.

My specialty is cardiovascular, but I have become very knowledgeable in other diseases as well, such as chronic inflammatory diseases, strokes and neurology. Since my husband and I both suffer from these disease I have kind of made myself as much of an expert on these conditions as possible. I guess that is the blessing or curse (however you see it) of being a nurse. (smile).

I look forward to being here and hope that I can help from time to time. Take care and thanks for responding.

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