My sister was diagnosed with lupus three years ago, but she recently died of kidney failure. Her last doctor said she never had lupus at all! Shouldn’t her doctor have performed more tests to confirm the lupus diagnosis?

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Yes. Although lupus can be hard to positively confirm, there are many tests that can help rule out lupus as a potential condition.


Here are a few tests that can help confirm a lupus diagnosis:


  • ANA test – The antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is one of the most commonly-performed screening tests for lupus. If the result is negative, it is highly unlikely that a patient is suffering from lupus. However, a positive ANA test does not mean a patient has tested positive for lupus, since over 90% of people who have a test positive for ANA do not have lupus.
  • Urine test – If a patient’s kidneys are functioning normally, they will remove most proteins from the bloodstream and urine. If the kidneys are inflamed or malfunctioning, microscopic blood cells and proteins may appear in a patient’s urine sample. If protein loss is substantial, the patient may develop nausea and weakness as he begins the early stages of kidney failure.
  • Other antibody tests – As a positive ANA test may be unreliable in itself, there are additional tests that can help identify the presence of other potentially troublesome antibodies. For instance, anti-double-stranded DNA and anti-Smith antibodies are less likely to be present in patients who do not have lupus.


If a doctor failed to confirm a lupus diagnosis, we can help you get justice. Call the Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys at Gray and White today at 800.634.8767 or fill out the contact form on the top of this page to find out your legal options in your FREE, one-on-one consultation.