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Lupus

Systemic Lupus and Cystic Fibrosis

02/12/1999

Question:

This question concerns systemic lupus but there was not a rheumatoid site so I will ask it here. My co-worker has a mild case of cystic fibrosis and a recent diagnosis confirmed by ANA test of systemic lupus. Currently she has almost constant joint pain but still comes to work. She would like to know if the pain ever goes away (such as remissions of it) or should she expect this as chronic? Also, she is concerned about the complications since she also has CF. What are some possible complications? What is the probability of her maintaining a "baseline" status staying the same or getting better with new treatments? Thank you

Answer:

The diagnosis of lupus is at times difficult. A positive ANA suggests lupus but is not sufficient to establish a definite diagnosis. It may also be seen with a number of other chronic conditions, with certain medications, and in some individuals, for no apparent reason. Therefore, it is not possible to say with certainty if your friend actually has lupus. The joint pain could be related to her CF or to an infection or perhaps to its treatment..

If you friend is having persistent pain, she should see a rheumatologist and be further evaluated. When a definite diagnosis is established, then it may be possible to predict what will happen in the future with her joint pain.

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Response by:

Larry   Houk, MD Larry Houk, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine and Rheumatology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati