Specialists in Duke’s nationally ranked rheumatology program are renowned for their research and treatment of lupus, an autoimmune disease that primarily affects the joints, kidneys, and skin. We use innovative approaches to manage your lupus.
Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease, with a variety of symptoms including swollen joints, skin rashes, kidney inflammation, fatigue, fever, and pain. Lupus is best diagnosed and managed by a specialist.
Our experienced rheumatologists have the skills and tools to make an accurate diagnosis and outline a treatment plan. We work with you and other specialists across Duke to help you manage the effects of lupus on your body’s multiple systems and organs.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Tests for Lupus
Lupus is diagnosed by using a combination of laboratory tests, medical history, and a comprehensive physical exam. Your evaluation -- which may require multiple visits -- may include:
Blood and Urine Tests
Your doctor will order blood and urine tests to check blood counts, identify kidney and liver function, and search for lupus antibodies and markers of lupus activity. People with lupus often have abnormal blood counts and test positive for lupus antibodies.
You may undergo radiology, ultrasound, or breathing tests to help your doctor better understand and manage your disease. Imaging tests may include X-rays, CT scans, echocardiograms, or pulmonary function tests.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our rheumatology program is rated as high performing among the nation's top hospitals, according to US News & World Report for 2021–2022.
Expert Lupus Care
Comprehensive, Coordinated Care
Lupus is a complex disorder that can affect your skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, nervous system, and other internal organs. Our doctors work closely with Duke dermatologists, nephrologists, psychiatrists, and others to manage your care. You have convenient access to care from multiple experts to provide the best chance for a positive outcome.
Specialized Care Before and During Pregnancy
We are one of the few centers in the nation to offer care focused on women with lupus who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. We work in close partnership with Duke’s high-risk obstetric doctors to find safe, effective medications to manage your disease and help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
Active Research Program
Our research program includes clinical trials and research designed to improve the lives of people living with lupus. As a Duke Lupus Clinic patient, you may be eligible to participate in a lupus-specific clinical trial that tests new therapies before they are widely available. You can also take part in the Duke Lupus Registry, which collects detailed information about lupus. The goal of the registry is to understand the impact of lupus, identify new knowledge about lupus, and establish best practices in caring for lupus patients.