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.
· As an aid to the diagnosis of lupus
· As a marker to follow the course of a lupus patient.
· 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).
· 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.