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The aiSLE DX Flare Risk Index Test: A new lupus lab test

posted in All on September 23, 2020 by

Donald Thomas

The aiSLE DX Flare Risk Index test

The Lupus Foundation of America, in its continuous quest to advocate for better care of lupus patients, just announced a new laboratory test that can help people who have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

The test is called the aiSLE DX Flare Risk Index, produced by Progentec Diagnostics, a company  that specializing in lupus. This is the first test in their “pipeline” (the yellow “01” part of the diagram above) of lab tests, designed to modernize and improve the care of SLE patients. Progentec had a press release this week about the lab test… read it here

The test measures numerous molecules of the immune system called cytokines and chemokines. Some of these cytokines increase immune system activity in SLE, while others decrease it. Studies have shown (at the Mayo Clinic and OMRF) that before lupus flares, we can predict the chances of it occurring beforehand. This is exciting. Up to now, whenever we get labs on our lupus patients, it tells us how patients are doing at this moment.  I like the way that Dr. Chaim Putterman (a lupologist) put it:

“The management of lupus symptoms has traditionally involved a regimen of reactive protocols. A test that assesses the likely risk of the onset of a flare is one of the first proactive measures available to the rheumatological community. The empirical data derived from such a test potentially has tremendous value in helping devise the right treatment and care for lupus patients.”

– Chaim Putterman, MD is a Professor of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Watch a video of Dr. Putterman and me discussing lupus flares on YouTube.

LDaniele DeFreese working in Progentec’s Oklahoma City-based laboratory. She is the laboratory technician and manager 

I’ve been using the test on my patients now for a few weeks. I love it. When it comes back with a negative number result, telling me that patient has a very low risk of flaring … it is music to my ears, and good news for them. If the test shows an increased risk for flaring, then I want that patient to ensure they are doing every thing on my – Lupus Secrets – and I’d make sure that the current treatment is maximized. I’d also check their labs more often during the next 12 -16 weeks.

Under a dozen rheumatologists have been using it up to now, but this week it has gone commercial. Rheumatologists can go to the Progentec website to sign up for the test so they can offer them to their patients. 

Share any comments below. If you have lupus, what do you think of new tests coming out such as this?

​SHARE the good news that the medical care of lupus patients is advancing!


Don Thomas, MD
Rheumatologist caring for lupus patients

Disclosure: I am on the Scientific Advisory Board of Progentec. I strongly believe in their mission and dedication to lupus patients.


  1. Will most insurance cover this test? I am on Medicare with United Healthcare supplement in Atlanta, GA.

    • Nancy: I was told by one of the staff that Medicare patients should not have to pay anything. I’ve just started ordering on my patients, and that is what I have told them. I hope it is correct!

  2. When will this be available in Australia?

    • Emily: Not soon enough! Things just move way too slowly when starting in one country then going to another (expense, different laws and regulations, etc.) For example, a similar amazing lab company, , has been out for several years. They do incredible tests to diagnose lupus better and faster, follow disease activity better, measure Plaquenil and MTX drug levels… yet only 25% of US rheumatologists use them yet due to how hard it is for docs to set up the labs in their offices … I wish things were easier with regards to people’s health!

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