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Hi, Martini. I think one step the rheumatologist might take next is refine the combined Smith & ribonuclear protein findings, to see which SPECFIC ANTBODIES is (or are) positive. Knowing which can add weight to a diagnosis.

However, most AI's have MULTIPLE diagnostic criteria, of which antibodies are only one (partial) aspect. You can find the criteria for diagnosing systemic lupus (SLE) in one of the "sticky posts" (permanent info posts) located above the user threads. BTW, all the stickies have good but basic info, which makes them an excellent place to start reading.

In addition to lupus, there are "close cousins" like MCTD, RA, Sjogren's, etc. that may be possibilities, too. Hopefully your rheumatologist is considering everything in the ballpark.

Was your chest wall pain figured out by the tests the doctor ordered? Hope so! I imagine multiple causes are possible, including pneumonia, pleurisy, costochondritis, etc.

Was urinalysis done?

As an aside, my rheumatologist would probably chastise a nurse who dared to explain labs to patients, as that's his job---plus the AI's are such a tricky area of medicine. Even my PCP forbids her nurses doing that. But to be honest, I'm anxious and eager for input, so it's hard for me not to ask, and even harder for me not to listen if a nurse starts talking!

Good luck with your followup appt. and tests. Let us know how it goes, OK? I'm glad you found us, too---someone's always here for you. Wishing you luck and sending my best wishes, Vee





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