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 Different laboratories may use different methods for dsDNA Ab measurement Results may not be directly comparable from laboratory to laboratory
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Double stranded DNA (dsDNA) antibody testing

dsDNA Ab testing for lupus

The double-stranded DNA antibody (dsDNA Ab) test is an important assay for diagnosis and management of lupus. Moaven and Partners Pathology is now performing this test “in house” and a result will ordinarily be available on the day of request.

Diagnostic value of dsDNA Ab measurement

·       As an aid to the diagnosis of lupus

·       As a marker to follow the course of a lupus patient.

Important points about dsDNA antibody testing

·       Different laboratories may use different methods for dsDNA Ab measurement. Results may not be directly comparable from laboratory to laboratory.

·       A positive dsDNA Ab provides strong support for a diagnosis of lupus, although a negative result does not exclude the diagnosis.

·       dsDNA Ab titre correlates with disease activity, but this correlation is not perfect. Therefore, dsDNA Ab results need to be interpreted in the overall clinical context.

·       dsDNA Ab correlates with renal involvement in lupus to a limited extent.

·       A positive test does not predict a flare of disease activity. However, increasing titres of dsDNA Ab may precede flares of lupus.

·       Most other autoantibodies seen in lupus do not correlate with disease activity (eg, ANA, SS-A, SS-B, Sm, cardiolipin).

When to order a dsDNA Ab test

·       As a follow-up test for a positive ANA result, especially if the ANA pattern is reported as homogeneous.

·       For periodic monitoring of patients with confirmed lupus.

·       When there is a strong clinical suspicion of lupus.

Dr Salvador Gala
Medical director and clinical Immunologist

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