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Hello Lesley :)

Abnormal levels of anti ds DNA will clinch a lupus diagnosis since it so closely associated with lupus as to be regarded as specific assuming there are symptoms of lupus too.

It tends to reflect a greater likelihood of kidney or central nervous system involvement but not necessarily and people can have these problems without having a positive anti ds DNA.
It is generally regarded as the only antibody along with some other blood test results like SED rate, that reflects disease activity but not all doctors think that.
If therapy is successful it might be expected to go down; if it is still rising it could mean ineffective therapy and possible disease worsening.

I think it is usually tested every time a general lupus check is done for those reasons. The sudden appearance of ds DNA when it wasn't there before is usually regarded with some concern. Urine should be regularly tested too.
The presence alone of these antibodies doesn't necessarily mean anything - it all depends on the symptoms being experienced and detected through other tests.


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