How do the criteria for the classification of SLE relate to making a diagnosis of SLE?
• Although these criteria are extremely helpful when considering the diagnosis of SLE for an individual patient, it should be emphasized that these criteria were designed for research purposes and not diagnosis. Especially for mild cases and patients with early disease, the classification criteria may not be sensitive enough to make the diagnosis.
• The term incomplete lupus erythematosus (ILE) has recently been used to describe patients who do not fully meet the criteria for lupus. ILE patients typically have a positive ANA, arthritis, hematologic involvement, and/or immunologic abnormalities.