The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Lupus is first suspected on the basis of symptoms, especially if you are a young woman. A firm diagnosis of lupus is somewhat complicated and will require a great deal of information and the consultation of a specialist. This is because lupus has no identifiable cause and no single definitive test. Also, since lupus can affect many systems in the body, it does not show the same signs and symptoms in everyone.
In 1982 the American College of Rheumatology decided on a set of criteria that yields an accurate lupus diagnosis 98% of the time. This diagnosis requires that you have at least four of the following:
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Last reviewed [Under Medical Review] by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
Last Updated: 9/1/2011