The presence of antibodies to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA, native DNA) in serum is highly characteristic for patients with SLE.
It is important to quantitate the amount of antibody to dsDNA in order to differentiate between SLE and closely related autoimmune diseases.
Antibodies to dsDNA show a good correlation to the disease activity. Serial determinations of the amount of antibodies to dsDNA in the serum of individual patients treated for SLE is therefore of important clinical use for the evaluation of therapy and to plan further therapeutic measurements. Antibodies to dsDNA normally do not appear in patient sera with drug-induced SLE.
The measurement of dsDNA antibodies in serum is helpful to decide whether the patient has a lupoid-drug reaction or real SLE.