Lupus band test - skin

Last updated: Thursday, 22, April, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

Biopsy of normal, non-sun-exposed skin and of affected skin.

Specimens should not be placed in fixative and should be transported rapidly to the laboratory on moist gauze.

Method

Direct IF.

Application

Diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Interpretation

Immunoglobulin and C3 deposition at the dermo-epidermal junction of both lesional and normal skin is seen in SLE. Whereas deposition in lesional, but not normal, skin occurs in discoid lupus.

Sensitivity for SLE is 60%. Relatively specific for SLE, however any form of skin damage may cause basement membrane deposition of immunoglobulin.

Reference

Harris TJ and Mihm MC. Arthr Rheum 1980; 23: 479-490.