View Full Version : ???Is this lupus? Unknown Symptoms

12-10-2008, 08:48 PM
About 2 months ago I realized I had a small blind spot in my eye, the eye doctor diagnosed it as Retinal Vasculitis. I then started tests to find out what caused it. I have seen the Rheum 2 x and taken 2 lupus blood tests and they both came back positive (10 lowest on the positive scale). Although the tests show lupus I can't remember ever having any symptoms. If I did they apparently weren't very strong, never a rash. I do have back aches, ulcers, unexplained low grade fevers from time to time but never in one instance that I thought it was anything to be concerned with. The Rheum doesn't want to diagnose me becuase she doesn't see any symptoms. Is that normal...no symptoms??

My Rheum today said that she didn't see anything that could be treated and to come back in 3 mos. I've decided to go see a Lupus specialist here in hopes that he can give me more information and a clear diagnosis. My main fear is that if I do have Lupus how will I know if I have a flare and will it effect my eye and make it worse.

Is there anyone that has Lupus without symptoms and do you still get treated to prevent symptoms?

Thanks for the help.

12-11-2008, 03:25 AM
What were the two Lupus tests that came back positive? Was one of the tests the ANA?

Retinal vasculitis has been found to be associated with the presence of anticardiolipin antibody and with central nervous system involvement in lupus. Retinal vascular manifestations are the most common form of ophthalmic involvement in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, but retinal vasculitis does occur in Lupus patients also (however, other systemic conditions can also cause Retinal vasuclitis). This condition is an abnormal appearance of the retinal vasculature due to inflammation. Lupus is a disease that causes inflammation throughout the body (muscles, joints, tissues, organs, arteries, veins etc.).
This condition must be treated, regardless of the activity of the underlying disease. Immediate treatment with immunosuppressant drugs (such as Methotrexate) is usually successful.

Anticardiolipin Antibody Syndrome (aka: Lupus Anticoagulant) is caused by an antibody response against phospholipid (a major component of the cell wall). The antibody response results is a heterogenous group of clinical conditions including blood clots, stroke, heart attack, low platelet count, spontaneous abortions, and several neurologic symptoms (including Retinal vasculitis). Persons with this disorder may be asymptomatic.

You say that you have no symptoms of Lupus. Although rare, retinal vasculitis as a primary manifestation of SLE does occur. Inflammation of the retinal vasculature without an infectious etiology, systemic disease association, or concomitant ocular disease is termed primary retinal vasculitis, and can result in severe and permanent vision loss. Research has found that systemic diseases have developed in patients with primary retinal vasculitis.

In essence, yes it is possible to have retinal vasculitis without significant lupus symptoms as this condition can be the primary manifestation of SLE. Especially since Lupus is a disease of inflammation and retinal vasculitis is caused by inflammation. Also, retinal vasculitis is associated with Lupus Anticoagulant (Anticardiolipin Antibodies) and this condition can be asymptomatic.

As I mentioned earlier, this condition should be treated regardless of the activity of the underlying disease.

I hope that I've answered your questions. Please let us know what treatment your doctors prescribe.

Peace and Blessings

12-11-2008, 11:15 AM
Both blood tests were ANA tests, DR wanted to verify the positive result on the first one.

Can you show positive ANA and still not have Lupus?

12-15-2008, 04:53 PM
Yes, positive ANA shows up in several other diseases. Some of those disease are: rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma.

Your doctor will have to use the positive ANA along with other lab results, your symptoms, and other clinical markers to determine which, if any, illness you suffer from.

Peace and Blessings