These antibody tests are often positive in lupus and can provide support for a diagnosis if the clinical criteria are unclear or if the ANA test is negative but lupus is strongly suspected.
Anti-SS-A (Ro) and anti-SS-B (La) antibodies are not specific for lupus and are found commonly in Sjögren's syndrome. But these tests are useful in helping women with lupus who are considering pregnancy. If a woman who has these antibodies becomes pregnant, she may need more careful monitoring of the fetus, since these antibodies are associated with a higher risk of the baby being born with neonatal lupus syndrome or a heart defect called congenital heart block.
High titers of anti-dsDNA are usually seen only in people who have lupus.
A positive anti-Sm test is a specific marker for lupus.
Anti-dsDNA tests can be repeated at intervals to monitor how the disease is progressing.
Crow MK (2016). Systemic lupus erythematosus. In L Goldman, A Shafer, eds., Goldman-Cecil Medicine, 24th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1769-1777. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Hahn BH (2015). Systemic lupus erythematosus. In DL Kasper et al., eds., Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th ed., vol. 2, pp. 2124-2134. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Rheumatology