What is SLE?

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the production of antinuclear antibodies. The antibodies most associated with SLE are those directed against deoxyribonucleoprotein (DNP). Anti-DNP can be found in more than 90% of untreated patients with SLE. Patients often present with skin inflammation. SLE is potentially fatal when kidney, lungs, blood cells or central nervous system are affected.

What are the Symptoms?

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) can affect persons of any age, but strikes mostly young women of childbearing age. Lupus causes the immune system to attack its own body cells. Lupus can cause severe joint and muscle pain, extreme exhaustion, fevers, skin rashes, and can lead to organ failure and death.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus affects a conservatively estimated 322,000 to possibly over a million people in the United States. [Due to the lack of definitive epidemiological information, the exact number of people with lupus is currently unknown.] About nine out of ten people who have lupus are women.

Approximately one third of deaths occur among men and women younger than 45. During 1979-1998, the annual number of deaths from lupus rose from 879 to 1,406, with a total of 22,861 deaths reported during this 20-year period.

Treatment of SLE

There is no known cure for lupus, but there are effective treatments. Early diagnosis and the commencement of treatment are vital to reducing the physical and economic impact of lupus.

In developing a treatment plan, the doctor has several goals: to prevent flares, to treat them when they do occur, and to minimize complications. The doctor and patient should reevaluate the plan regularly to ensure that it is as effective as possible. Working closely with the doctor helps ensure that treatments for lupus are as successful as possible. Because some treatments may cause harmful side effects, it is important to promptly report any new symptoms to the doctor. It is also important not to stop or change treatments without talking to the doctor first.


The ASI SLE Slide Test is a latex slide agglutination assay for the qualitative and semiquantitative detection of anti-deoxyribonucleoprotein (anti-DNP) in human serum. These materials are intended to be acquired, possessed and used only by health professionals.