A patient is admitted to the hospital with signs and symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Which test would support the diagnosis?

Antinuclear antibody

Explanation

• The antinuclear antibody test is highly sensitive to SLE, but there is no single test to confirm a diagnosis of SLE. 

• A positive ANA test supports, rather than confirms, the diagnosis. Positive ANA tests may also be seen in other conditions, such as thyroid disease, certain liver conditions, and other autoimmune diseases. 

• An anti-double strand DNA antibody test also may also be done to support a diagnosis of SLE.

• A CBC is ordered to detect anemia and thrombocytopenia, which can be caused by SLE, but it is not diagnostic for the disease.

• Erythrocyte sedimentation rate is a non-specific measure of inflammation in the body. It is used to help diagnose SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, and Kawasaki's disease. It may be used to help diagnose SLE, but it is not the main diagnostic test.

• Hepatobiliary scan is used to evaluate the function of the gallbladder.

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