(AUDIO) The primary challenge in lupus diagnosis is nonspecific signs and lack of good biomarkers, says Sam Lim, MD, of the American College of Rheumatology’s Lupus Initiative. Here he sheds light on how to arrive at an appropriate diagnosis.
Lupus diagnosis can be challenging for rheumatologists, particularly early in the disease, so it’s not an indictment of primary care physicians’ clinical acumen if they find the diagnosis difficult, says Sam Lim, MD, MPH, Consortium Chair of the American College of Rheumatology’s Lupus Initiative. In this podcast, Dr. Lim offers insights on the special challenges of lupus diagnosis in primary care and sheds light on how primary care physicians can ensure better outcomes for their patients with lupus.
Dr. Lim is associate professor of medicine and epidemiology in the rheumatology division at Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Lupus Diagnosis: The Challenge in Primary Care
♦ Why is lupus so difficult to diagnose in primary care, and what are the major mimics of it?
♦ What are some of the most important things that doctors need to know about treating lupus in 2012?
♦ What is the impact of gender and ethnicity on outcomes for lupus care?
♦ What can primary care clinicians do to assure the best outcomes for their patients with lupus?
“The primary challenge in lupus diagnosis is attribution of nonspecific symptoms and signs to an autoimmune process that lacks good biomarkers for disease or disease activity.”
“Because most patients with lupus are women of childbearing age, reproductive health is important. Most women with lupus can have uncomplicated pregnancies without poor outcomes if various parameters are addressed or maximized. It’s important to have this discussion with patients.”
For your reference:
The Lupus Initiative