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New Tests Offer Improved Lupus Diagnostics and Help With Monitoring Disease Activity!

Lupus is an incredibly complex, chronic, and inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes pain, fatigue, and tissue damage to various parts of the body. It can be difficult to treat, and extremely challenging to diagnose.

The “diagnostic dilemma” of lupus is particularly arduous due to the heterogeneity of the disease; every person with lupus is unique and no two patients’ symptoms or outcomes are exactly the same which can often lead to incorrect and delayed diagnoses. It is reported that it takes approximately 6 years to receive a lupus diagnosis after the onset of symptoms; often patients are diagnosed with other lupus overlap diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, or Sjogren’s Syndrome before a lupus diagnosis is made.

This dilemma is as frustrating for the doctors as it is for the patients. Doctors who treat lupus want to properly diagnose and treat those patients. However, for decades this has been challenging since there is no single blood test that validates a lupus diagnosis. Doctors rely on several sources to dwindle down the checklist of possible diseases; this can take months and many doctor’s appointments to solve the lupus puzzle. It is exhausting and expensive for the patient, and frustrating for medical professionals.

But what if there was a test that could accurately aid in diagnosing lupus AND help your physician differentiate between:

  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Sjögren’s Syndrome

  • Scleroderma

  • Polymyositis/Dermatomyositis (PM/DM)

  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS)

  • Autoimmune Thyroid Disease such as Graves’ & Hashimoto’s

Thankfully, now there is a test which can achieve these goals!

Available exclusively through Exagen Inc., the AVISE CTD test is a comprehensive and innovative rheumatic disease diagnostic test using special patented technology that can provide doctors with information to help diagnose SLE and help differentiate SLE from other connective tissue diseases. Not only that, they also offer a AVISE HCQ drug monitoring test that provides accurate measurement of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) levels in whole blood to help physicians assess their patients' exposure to hydroxychloroquine therapy.

The AVISE CTD test uses a substance in the cells called “biomarkers” that measure disease presence and the highest quality standards to help doctors make a confident diagnosis. When the AVISE CTD test is used and the results are combined with a doctor’s clinical assessment, it can provide necessary information to aid in earlier diagnosis. This has been proven to help:

  • Lower the number of hospital visits

  • Lower the amount of disease flares

  • Reduce the costs of healthcare

  • Reduce the toxicity from inappropriate therapy

  • Improve clinical outcomes.

If you are currently experiencing a diagnostic dilemma and are ready to solve the true cause of your symptoms, ask your doctor about the AVISE CTD test at your next appointment. It may be the last piece of the lupus puzzle your doctor has been looking for!

Exagen Inc’s other exciting discovery is the AVISE SLE Monitor test which is specifically aimed to help patients proactively manage their lupus.

Since lupus is a such a complex and multi-layered disease that affects multiple organs in the body, it is important to stay ahead of the symptoms by assessing disease activity and any progression of tissue damage. The AVISE SLE Monitor is an advanced blood test that uses unique biomarkers to assess disease activity and help physicians detect what is going on. This will hopefully minimize disease flares and tissue damage associated with increased disease activity.

In addition, the AVISE SLE Monitor can help your doctor assess:

  • Your lupus disease activity level, sometimes known as SLEDAI (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index)

  • If you may be at risk to develop lupus nephritis

  • Improvements in your quality of life due to appropriate therapy integration.

The added insights provided by the AVISE CTD test and the AVISE SLE Monitor only help your doctor delve deeper into the understanding your unique lupus journey.

Now, only your physician can determine if the AVISE SLE Monitor is right for you. If you think these tests may help you, here are some next steps:

  • STEP 1: Download this letter for the next appointment with your physician. Download letter:

  • STEP 2: Have your doctor order the test. AVISE testing is available nationwide, with a specialized testing center at the University of Washington. Results will be sent to your physician's office within 5 business days.

  • STEP 3: Have an open and honest conversation with your doctor and participate in establishing a treatment plan and goals for your health!

For any further questions regarding diagnosing lupus, AVISE CTD, or the AVISE SLE Monitor, here are some helpful resources:

AVISE Hotline: Call Monday - Friday 8am to 8pm EST 888.452.1522 or visit

Lupus Foundation of America - Diagnosing Lupus:

Lupus Research Alliance - Lupus Diagnosis and Treatment

Article By:

Kelli Roseta

Kelli Roseta is a lupus advocate, award-winning blogger, 28 year lupus survivor, and the creator of the nonprofit, More Than Lupus. The mission of More Than Lupus is to provide programs and support for those living with lupus, advocate for their needs, and collaborate with other government and lupus organizations improved quality of life, and (ultimately) a cure. You can visit her website at


Al Sawah S, Daly RP, Foster S, Naegeli A, Benjamin K., Doll H., Bond G, Moshkovich O, Alarcón G. Understanding Delay in Diagnosis, Access to Care, and Satisfaction with Care in Lupus: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Online Survey in the United States. Presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) 2015 Annual Conference. June 2015. Rome, Italy.

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Jan 15


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