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Crow, hi & welcome. I hope you get to the rheumie while you still have that "weird rash" on your back. There are various lupus-specific rashes BEYOND the best-known ones, which are the facial malar (aka butterfly) and discoid (the scarring &/or depigmenting kind). But even a dermatologist can't tell what a rash is just by looking at it. When lupus is a possibility, dermie can do a skin biopsy with immunofluorescent stain tests, to see if the rash is lupus-specific.

ANA is positive in a variety of conditions, not just lupus. And it can also be positive due to a passing virus, aging, etc. So your GP makes sense when he says elevated ANA doesn't prove lupus.

There are many autoantibodies seen in lupus, not just anti-ds-DNA, so your GP makes sense there, too. In his lupus hardcover, Dr. Daniel Wallace charts at least 16 autoantibodies, complement levels, etc. seen in lupus. In terms of how "lupus-specific" they, he rates each: excellent, good, fair or poor. Libraries & larger bookstores stock this book.

BTW, Dr. Wallace does write that he considers 1:1280 a significant ANA titer. BUT, as your GP said, it doesn't automatically equate to lupus. It must be viewed in context of the standard ACR criteria for diagnosing SLE. You may find the criteria right here on a "sticky post" (permanent info post) at the top of the thread list.

Signs your rheumie is approaching things well include: taking your lifelong medical history; reviewing recent labs & maybe calling for new ones to be done in a lab of his choice (the tests are hard to perform, so most rheumies use specialty lab); and referring you to a hand-picked dermie for a skin biopsy, if your rash looks "promising".

I hope something here helps. Let us know how you're doing, OK? Best wishes, Vee

P.S. I had a low-odds rash, neither scarring nor nondepigmenting, on my back & upper arms (finally Dx'ed as "subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus annular form", abbreviated SCLE); also low-odds blood results (negative ANA but positive anti-Ro). I had a terrible time getting answers.





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