Table 1

Candidate diagnostic biomarkers for SLE

CategoryAdvantagesDisadvantages
Autoantibodies
  • Present in preclinical SLE

  • Readily measured

  • Some have SLE specificity

  • Many overlap with other preclinical disease states

Soluble mediators/cytokines
  • Present in preclinical SLE

  • Some (eg, BlyS) may have specificity for SLE

  • Most are not specific for SLE

Complement products
  • Relative specificity for SLE

  • Correlation with tissue damage and severity in SLE

  • Not highly prevalent in preclinical disease

Gene signatures
  • IFN signature present in preclinical disease

  • Not disease specific; present in RA, myositis

  • Not clinically measured

  • IFN, interferon; RA, rheumatoid arthritis.