SLE Distinguished from Fibromyalgia with 100% Specificity in Newly Designed Test

Source: Lupus News Today

As reported in Lupus News Today, a recent study led by LRI Board member Dr. Daniel Wallace found it is possible to distinguish systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients from those with primary fibromyalgia (FM), with complete specificity, using a new test measuring the levels of abundant proteins in circulation. The study, “Systemic lupus erythematosus and primary fibromyalgia can be distinguished by testing for cell-bound complement activation products,” was published in Lupus Science & Medicine.

SLE is an autoimmune systemic disease with patients experiencing a variety of symptoms that include chronic pain, arthralgia, fatigue, and morning stiffness. Many, however, present symptoms that are non-specific and not in agreement with the formal criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology. As a result, they may long remain undiagnosed.

SLE has been distinguished from other diseases by combining clinical history, demographic information, and age at disease onset with a clinician examination accompanied by laboratory tests looking for antinuclear antibodies (ANA), among other SLE-specific autoantibodies. However, the specificity of this test for SLE is challenged, given that around 14 percent of the general population is also positive for antinuclear antibodies as are, importantly, 15 percent to 25 percent of people with fibromyalgia.