Leading the way to a cure


Erythrocyte-Bound Complement as a Novel Biomarker of Disease Activity and Therapeutic Response in SLE

Ahearn, Joseph, MD

University of Pittsburgh

The typical course of lupus includes periods of active disease, called flares, and periods of wellness, or remission. Lupus flares can lead to irreversible organ damage, so it is important to detect flares early and begin appropriate treatment. However, the laboratory tests that doctors use to monitor disease activity in people with lupus are not always accurate. Dr. Ahearn is doing studies to show that a simple, rapid, and inexpensive test that he has developed is more accurate for diagnosing lupus and monitoring disease activity than currently available laboratory tests. The new test measures inflammation-causing proteins known as complement on the surface of red blood cells (erythrocytes).

What this study means for people with lupus: This study may lead to earlier and more accurate detection of disease flares, enabling speedier treatment and reducing the frequency of unnecessary treatments. The work may also provide better ways for measuring responses to new therapies being tested in clinical trials for people with lupus.

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