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How is systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) diagnosed?
There is no single test for lupus. Because lupus affects different people in different ways, it can be hard to diagnose. It can take time for symptoms to develop. And sometimes it takes weeks to years to diagnose.
Your doctor will check for lupus by examining you and asking you questions about your symptoms and past health. He or she will check for certain criteria to help diagnose lupus. These criteria include the butterfly rash and joint swelling.
If you have symptoms of lupus and you have a positive antinuclear antibody (ANA) test result, you may not need more testing.
If your doctor feels that you do need more tests, you may have one or more of these tests:
Other antibody blood tests
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR, or sed rate) or C-reactive protein (CRP)
Complete blood count (CBC)
Lupus anticoagulant test, such as a partial thromboplastin time test