Diagnosing Lupus

This information is useful for children and adults
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Yale Medicine emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating autoimmune diseases including lupus.
  • Laboratories at Yale Medicine are held to rigorous quality standards to ensure accurate results.
  • We use a computer-assisted diagnosis platform, which allows for easier and more precise visualization of the antibodies involved in lupus diagnosis.

Lupus, one of the most common autoimmune diseases, is an inflammatory condition in which the body’s antibodies fight against the body’s tissues and organs.

Many of the symptoms associated with lupus are common to other conditions, making diagnosis through a clinical examination alone difficult. That’s why a patient must meet specific criteria before a valid diagnosis can be made.

Our lab medicine team has expertise in accurately diagnosing lupus – a process that can mean the difference between life and death for a patient.

Unlike test results for many other autoimmune diseases, testing positive for the antibodies associated with lupus does not necessarily indicate that a patient has the condition, since many people who do not have lupus still produce those antibodies.

“We don’t yet know why that happens," says Stephanie C. Eisenbarth, MD, PhD, assistant professor of laboratory medicine, of immunobiology and immunology at Yale School of Medicine.