Lupus: Diagnosis

The manifestations of lupus are highly variable, to such an extent that it has been necessary to define criteria for its diagnosis.


There are eleven of these criteria, defined by the American College of Rheumatology, with SLE being diagnosed if the patient demonstrates at least four of them:

- eruption on the cheekbones;
- discoid lupus (raised, peeling skin lesions, which appear on the face, the scalp, the ears, the chest or the arms);
- photosensitivity (sensitivity to light);
- ulcers on the mouth or the nose;
- arthritis;
- pleurisy or pericarditis;
- renal damage;
- neurological problems (convulsions, psychosis);
- blood anomalies;
- presence of characteristic auto-antibodies;
- presence of antinuclear antibodies (against the nucleus of the cells).

To be able to address these criteria and give the diagnosis of lupus, it may be necessary to perform blood, urine or even radiological tests.


It is also important to rule out the pathologies that could manifest in a similar way to lupus, and to verify that the symptoms are not the result of a medication that the patient is taking.

Last updated: 4/25/17

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