Do I have lupus?
That’s the question that so many people ask, and when they can’t get an answer, they become more and more frustrated, and sometimes even worried. The fact is, when it comes to lupus, there are no easy answers. The signs and symptoms of lupus – fatigue and fever, painful and swollen joints, rashes and hair loss – are also the symptoms of a great many conditions. And so, a concrete diagnosis can often remain elusive. It can often take numerous doctor visits to determine a final diagnosis.
Is there a blood test for lupus?
For many years, the standard blood test for determining whether or not a patient may have lupus has been the standard ANA (antinuclear antibody) test, along with the extended reflex ANA panel. But a positive ANA test does not mean that a patient definitely has lupus. Research tells us that about 20 percent of the normal population will have a positive ANA test.
Advances in molecular testing of blood specimens have led to new lupus testing that can have a higher level of relevance than the ANA test. The SLE-Key Rule-Out test can potentially rule out the presence of lupus with unprecedented levels of accuracy. In fact, SLE-Key has demonstrated in research that about two-thirds of patients who received a positive ANA test do not, in fact, can be ruled out from having lupus.
Test ruling out lupus
A new blood test is now available that can potentially provide physicians with high levels of accuracy in ruling out the presence of lupus. Developed in consultation with some of the country’s leading rheumatologists, SLE-key® analyzes the specific biomarkers that are present in a patient’s blood, and based on that analysis, can determine with a high degree of certainty whether a diagnosis of lupus can be ruled out. Based on the early application of the SLE-key® test, some two-thirds of patients who had a positive ANA test were actually found not to have lupus, based on their test results for SLE-key, in conjunction with other clinical signs.
About the SLE-key® Rule Out Test
SLE-key® is a simple blood test. Your rheumatologist will send a sample of your blood to the Veracis laboratory, and within a few business days, your doctor will be sent the results. It’s important to understand that the SLE-key® test is a rule-out test, meaning that the test will not positively identify the presence of lupus in your blood, but can determine if lupus is not present. Confirming that you do not have lupus allows your rheumatologist to focus on other causes for your symptoms and the appropriate manner of treatment.
Cost of this lupus test
The cost of the SLE-key® test depends on variety of factors, but the test is covered by many insurance providers, including Medicare (pending) and Medicaid. Your physician’s office should be able to give you an estimate for your share of the test’s costs prior to the test, or you can contact Veracis directly. If you are concerned about the cost of the test, you may qualify for financial assistance.