Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Pitt researchers identify biomarkers of lupus which could lead to quicker and better diagnosis


University of Pittsburgh researchers have identified biomarkers that could result in earlier and more accurate diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a devastating disease that affects as many as 1.5 million Americans, and occurs 10 to 15 times more frequently in women. The results are published in the November 2004 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

"This is the first report of abnormal levels of the protein erythrocyte-C4d in human disease," said lead author Susan Manzi, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine, epidemiology and dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. "Abnormally high levels of erythrocyte-C4d and low levels of erythrocyte-CR1 are characteristic of SLE and combined measurement of the two proteins has high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for lupus."

The significance of the finding is substantial, according to Joseph Ahearn, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and senior author of the study. "Today we are one step closer to providing patients with an immediate and accurate diagnosis, one step closer to providing physicians with the ability to offer better treatment options and one step closer to providing incentive to lower the cost of health care for patients suffering from lupus," Dr. Ahearn said. "Lupus is the prototypical autoimmune disease and arguably the greatest diagnostic challenge among rheumatologic diseases," he said. "The spectrum of disease among patients with SLE is broad and ranges from subtle or vague symptoms to life-threatening multiorgan failure, and the manifestations of lupus often mimic those of other diseases makes it difficult to diagnose."

It is not unusual for a patient with lupus to seek advice from a variety of specialists and subspecialists over a period of years before being accurately diagnosed, which results in delays in receiving proper therapy and an ultimately greater cost for treating the disease and its complications. Although there is no cure for lupus, there are many ways to treat symptoms, including chemotherapy. Currently, most physicians rely on blood abnormalities to aid in the diagnosis of SLE, but according to Dr. Manzi, these tests are inadequate because they are not sensitive or specific enough.

In the study, researchers used blood samples taken from each participant and analyzed them using flow cytometry to compare the levels of proteins in 100 patients who were confirmed to have lupus, 133 patients who had other diseases and conditions including myositis, systemic sclerosis, hepatitis and rheumatoid arthritis, and 84 healthy patients.

Lupus is a widespread and chronic autoimmune disease that, for unknown reasons, causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs, including the joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, blood and skin. The immune system normally protects the body against viruses, bacteria and other foreign materials. In an autoimmune disease like lupus, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissue. The immune system then makes antibodies directed against itself.

Alan Aldinger | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease

26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

More VideoLinks >>>