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Coldtoes, after I read a bit, I also saw hints that oligoclonal bands aren't unique to MS. (Confusing, huh?)

RASHES. You don't have to have a rash to have lupus. The sticky post conveys how the ACR criteria are generally used by drs: need 4 (or more) of the 11 to support a diagnosis of systemic lupus. Further, you may meet criteria over time (as opposed to simultaneously). As my rheumatologist explained, envision checking each off, in indelible ink.

BLOOD TESTS. Hopefully your new rheumie will run all sorts of SPECIFIC autoantibody tests, since ANA is only a threshhold test (because it's positive in a number of diseases & thus isn't considered diagnostic). For example, here are some seen in lupus (list probably isn't complete): anti-ds-DNA, anti-histone, anti-Smith, anti-RNP, antiphospholipid, anti-Ro, anti-La, anti-ribosomal P, anti-erythrocyte, ANCA, anti-lymphocyte, anti-platelet, anti-neuronal, and rheumatoid factor.

Now look again at the ACR criteria for SLE. Only several above "make" the criteria list, because only they are considered "specific" enough to be on the list. (Another illustration: I was positive for anti-Ro, seen in both lupus and Sjogren's, so it's NOT on the list.)

Hope something above helps you as you read. Keep in touch, OK? With my best wishes, Vee

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