Case Study: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Topics: Systemic lupus erythematosus, Syphilis, Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test Pages: 2 (472 words) Published: March 3, 2009
Calibration 2: Text
1. Hemoglobin.
NORMAL: 12.0-15.2 gm/dL (Female).
SIGNIFICANCE: The patient’s value is below normal though mat not be clinically significant as only values below 7 g/dL are considered suggestive of an underlying problem (Wallach, 2007).

NORMAL: negative-trace.
SIGNIFICANCE: A higher than normal level of protein in the urine indicates renal dysfunction. In this case, it suggests that the glomeruli are damaged and cannot prevent protein from exiting the blood and entering the urine ("Lab tests online," 2009). This finding is not uncommon among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) because antibody-antigen complexes accumulate in the glomeruli leading to inflammation and tissue damage (McCance & Huether, 2006).

NORMAL: -(nonreactive).
SIGNIFICANCE: VDRL (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory) is a test which is designed to detect the presence of antibodies to the bacterium Treponema pallidum which causes syphilis. (Larsen, Steiner, & Rudolph, 1995). Though the patient is positive for this test, it is not diagnostic; false positives are possible and are commonly seen among SLE patients ("Lab tests online," 2009; Larsen, et al., 1995). Other tests (see below) must be used in conjunction with the VDRL test to determine whether the patient has syphilis or another disease such as SLE.

NORMAL: Absent or low titer.
SIGNIFICANCE: The ANA (antinuclear antibody) test checks for the presence of self-antibodies against nuclear components of the cell. Ninety-five percent of SLE patients test positive for ANA ("Lab tests online," 2009), making ANA the most sensitive test for detecting SLE (Wallach, 2007).

dsDNA antibody test.
NORMAL: Absent or low titer.
SIGNIFICANCE: Like the ANA assay, the dsDNA (double-stranded DNA) antibody test examines the blood for the presence of...
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