New blood test can help doctors diagnose lupus

Lupus Foundation of America

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What is the AVISE® CTD?

AVISE® CTD is a blood test that can help doctors diagnose lupus and other autoimmune diseases—like rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren's syndrome, or scleroderma. The test may be useful for people who have a positive antinuclear antibodies (ANA) test, or anyone concerned they may have lupus or a similar autoimmune condition. 

What is the purpose of the test?

Getting an early diagnosis of lupus is critical to preventing long-term consequences of the disease. Unfortunately, there isn’t just 1 test doctors can use to determine if you have lupus. Doctors must consider many different sources of information to make a diagnosis. Lupus and other autoimmune diseases can be especially hard for doctors to distinguish and diagnose since they often have similar symptoms. Sometimes, it can take months — or even years — before your doctor has all the information needed to make a lupus diagnosis. With the AVISE® CTD test, doctors can say “yes” or “no” to several similar diseases at the same time—and this can help speed up the diagnostic process.

How was this test developed?

In 2008, the Lupus Foundation of America funded research that suggested that measuring levels of a specific protein in the blood, called C4d, might be a more useful way to diagnose and monitor lupus compared to other methods available. After 15 years of research with collaborators, Exagen Diagnostics released the AVISE® CTD test to the public to help aid in the diagnosis of lupus and other autoimmune diseases. 

Is the AVISE® test right for me?

Your health care provider may use the AVISE test to:

  • Confirm you have lupus if you’ve already had an antinuclear antibodies (ANA) test and the results were positive
  • Determine whether you have lupus or a different autoimmune disease
  • Confirm you have lupus prior to recommending treatment
  • Test you again if previous autoimmune disease tests were inconclusive (not helpful or insightful in making a diagnosis)

If you’re interested in having the AVISE® CTD test performed by your doctor, the first step is for you to find out if the test is right for you. Show this article to your doctor at your next appointment. Learn more about the AVISE® CTD test.