Coverage Policy Manual
Policy #: 2014018
Category: Laboratory
Initiated: September 2014
Last Review: June 2018
  Biomarker Panel Testing for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Description:
SLE is an autoimmune connective tissue disease that affects approximately 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. (Lupus Research Institute, 2014). It is one of several types of lupus, the other 2 being cutaneous and drug-induced lupus. About 90% of lupus patients are women between the ages of 15 and 45 years. SLE causes inflammation and can affect any part of the body, most commonly the skin, heart, joints, lungs blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. Although generally not fatal, SLE can lead to increased mortality, most commonly from cardiovascular disease due to accelerated atherosclerosis. SLE can also lead to kidney failure, which may reduce survival. The survival rate in the U.S. is approximately 95% at 5 years and 78% at 20 years. (Kasitanon, 2006). The morbidity associated with SLE is substantial. Symptoms such as joint and muscle pain can impact quality of life and functional status. SLE also increases patients’ risk of infection, cancer, avascular necrosis (bone cancer death), and pregnancy complications (eg, preeclampsia and preterm birth). The course of the disease is variable, and patients generally experience periods of illness (called flares) and periods of remission. Flare severity can range from mild to serious.
 
Treatments for SLE can ameliorate symptoms, reduce disease activity, and slow progression of organ damage, however there is no cure for SLE. Muscle and joint pain, fatigue and rashes are generally initially treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Antimalerial drugs such as hydroxychloroquine can relieve some symptoms of SLE including fatigue, rashes, and joint pain. Patients with more serious symptoms, such as heart, lung or kidney involvement, can be treated with corticosteroids or immune suppressants. There are also biologic treatments, such as rituximab, which are U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and are being evaluated for treatment of SLE.
 
Patients with SLE often present with nonspecific symptoms such as fever, fatigue, joint pain, and rash, which can make the disease difficult to diagnosis. In some patients, the diagnosis can be made with certainty, for example when there are typical symptoms of rash and joint symptoms, and laboratory testing shows a high-titer abnormal antinuclear antibody (ANA) in a pattern that is specific for SLE. However, in many other patients, the symptom patterns are less clear and laboratory testing is equivocal, and as a result, a definitive diagnosis is difficult to make.
 
The diagnosis of SLE has depended on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results. In 1997 the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) proposed updated criteria for classification of SLE; this represented an update of 1982 criteria (American College of Rheumatology, 1982; Hochberg, 1997).
 
The ACR classification criteria are as follows:
 
1. Malar rash
 
2. Discoid rash
 
3. Photosensitivity
 
4. Mouth or nose ulcers (usually painless)
 
5. Arthritis (nonerosive) in two or more peripheral joints, along with tenderness, swelling, or effusion.
 
6. Serositis: Pleuritis or pericarditis
 
7. Renal disorder: excessive protein in the urine, or cellular casts in the urine
 
8. Neurologic disorder: seizures and/or psychosis, in the absence of offending drugs or known metabolic derangements
 
9. Hematologic disorders: hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, lymphopenia or thrombocytopenia
 
10. Immunologic disorder: antibodies to double stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA), antibodies to Smith nuclear antigen (anti-Sm), positive antiphospholipid antibody or false positive serologic test for syphilis known to be positive for at least 6 months.
 
11. Abnormal antinuclear antibody (ANA) test in the absence of drugs known to induce it.
 
These criteria were originally developed for use in research studies, but they have been widely adopted into clinical care. Individuals who meet 4 or more of the 11 criteria receive a diagnosis of SLE. If a patient meets fewer than 4 of criteria, lupus can still be diagnosed by clinical judgment; it is generally recommended that a rheumatologist confirm the diagnosis of SLE.5 ANA testing is usually performed for patients who present with signs and symptoms involving 2 or more organ systems, and individuals who test positive are recommended to undergo additional laboratory testing.6 Studies on the 1982 ACR criteria have reported sensitivities ranging from 78% to 95% and specificities ranging from 89% to 100%, with lower accuracy in patients with mild disease (Gill, 2003).
 
In 2012, the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC), an international group of researchers developed revised criteria for diagnosing SLE (Petri, 2012). These criteria include more laboratory tests than the earlier ACR criteria, including elements of the complement system. Patients are classified as having SLE if they satisfy 4 or more of the 18 criteria, including at least 1 clinical criterion and 1 immunologic criterion or they have biopsy-proven nephritis compatible with SLE and with ANA or anti-dsDNA antibodies. In a sample of 690 patients, the SLICC criteria had a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 84% for diagnosing SLE, whereas the ACR criteria applied to the same sample had a sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 96%. It is not clear how well accepted the SLICC recommendations are in the practice setting. The SLICC criteria are as follows:
 
Clinical criteria (in the absence of other known causes):
 
1. Acute cutaneous lupus (including but not limited to lupus malar rash)
 
2. Chronic cutaneous lupus (including but not limited to discoid rash)
 
3. Oral ulcers
 
4. Non-scarring alopecia in the absence of other causes
 
5. Synovitis involving two or more joints, characterized by swelling or effusion or and thirty minutes or more of morning stiffness.
 
6. Serositis
 
7. Renal: excessive protein in the urine, or cellular casts in the urine
 
8. Neurologic disorder: seizures, psychosis, mononeuritis complex or peripheral or cranial neuropathy
 
9. seizures
 
10. Hemolytic anemia
 
11. Leukopenia or lymphopenia
 
12. Thrombocytopenia
 
Immunological criteria:
 
1. ANA above laboratory reference range
 
2. Anti-dsDNA above laboratory reference range
 
3. Anti-Sm
 
4. Antiphospholipid antibody
 
5. Low complement (low C3, low C4 or low CH150)
 
6. Direct Coombs tests in the absence of hemolytic anemia
 
As previously noted, the SLICC classification system includes a wider range of laboratory tests than the ACR criteria. To date, the most common laboratory tests performed in the diagnosis of SLE are serum ANA, and if this is positive, tests for anti-dsDNA and anti-Sm. ANA tests are highly sensitive (ie, with a high negative predictive value) but have low specificity and relatively low positive predictive value, particularly when the ANA is positive at a low level. Specificity of testing can be increased by testing for specific antibodies against individual nuclear antigens (extractable nuclear antigens, or ENAs) to examine the “pattern” of ANA positivity. These include antigens against single and double-stranded DNA, histones, Sm, Ro, La, and RNP. The presence of anti-dsDNA or anti-Sm is highly specific for SLE because few patients without SLE test positive; however, neither of these tests have high sensitivity (Suresh, 2007). The presence of other antibody patterns may indicate the likelihood of alternate diagnoses. For example, the presence of Ro and La antibodies suggests Sjogren syndrome, while the presence of antihistone antibodies suggests drug-induced lupus.
 
Better diagnostic tests for SLE would be useful in clinical practice. A variety of biomarkers, including markers associated with the complement system, are being explored to aid in the diagnosis of lupus. The complement system is part of the immune system and consists of 20 to 30 protein molecules that circulate in the blood in inactive form until activated by a trigger. When activated, as in by an infection, a sequence of events known as the complement cascade is initiated. This cascade involves the proteolysis of a complement protein into a smaller protein and a peptide. The smaller protein is able to bind to the complex at the surface of the invading microorganism and the peptide diffuses away. For example, in the first step, complement protein C3 is cleaved into C3b and C3a. C3b binds to the surface of the microorganism and activates the next step in the cascade, the proteolysis of C5, and the small peptide, C3a diffuses away. The precursors C3 and C4 and the complement activation products (CAPs), eg, C3a, C5a and C4d, have been considered as SLE biomarkers. More recently, cell-bound complement activation products (CB-CAPs), which are longer-lived than circulating CAPs, have been investigated as biomarkers of SLE. It is as yet unclear what advantages CB-CAPs may have over measuring circulating CAPs.
 
In addition to exploration of individual biomarkers with higher accuracy than accepted markers such as ANA and anti-dsDNA, there is interest in identifying a panel of tests with high sensitivity and specificity for SLE diagnosis. At least 1 multibiomarker test to aid in the diagnosis of SLE is commercially available. This panel, Avise™ 2.0 (Exagen Diagnostics), contains a total of 22 different tests. It combines 2 smaller panels, a 10-marker panel that includes common SLE tests, as well as CB-CAPs (known as Avise SLE 2.0) and a 12-marker panel that includes focuses on connective tissue diseases other than SLE (known as Avise SLE + Connective Tissue 2.0™).
 
Specific biomarkers in the panel are as follows:
 
10 marker Avise SLE 2.0 test:
Auto-antibodies: ANA, Anti-dsDNA, Anti-mutated citrullinated vimentin (Anti-MCV), C4d erythrocyte-bound complement fragment (EC4d), C4d lymphocyte-bound complement (BC4d), Anti-Sm, Jo-1, Sci-70, CENP, SS-B/La,
 
12 marker Avise SLE + Connective Tissue 2.0 test:
Auto-antibodies: U1RNP, RNP70, SS-A/Ro.
Rheumatoid arthritis auto-antibodies: Rheumatoid factor IgM, Rheumatoid factor IgA, Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide IgG.
 
Anti-phospholipid syndrome auto-antibodies: Cardiolipin IgM, Cardiolipin IgG, B2-glycoprotein 1 IgG, B2-glycoprotein 1 IgM.
Thyroid auto-antibodies: Thyroglobulin IgG, Thyroid perodixidase IgG.
 
In addition to reporting individual test results, an index score is reported that rates how suggestive results of tests are of SLE. Information is not available as to how this index score is calculated. The score can range from -5 (highly nonsuggestive of SLE) to 5 (highly suggestive of SLE) and a score of -0.1 to 0.1 is considered to be in the indeterminate zone.
 
Exagen also offers the Avise SLE Prognostic test, a 10-marker panel that can be ordered in conjunction with the Avise SLE 2.0/ Avise SLE + Connective Tissue 2.0 panels. The prognostic test focuses on patients’ risk of lupus nephritis, neuropsychiatric SLE, thrombosis and cardiovascular events. The test includes anti-C1q, anti-ribosomal P, anti-phoshatidylserine/prothrombin IgM and IgG, anti-cardiolipin IgM, IgG and IgA and anti-B2-glycoprotein 1 IgM, igG and IgA. Four of the 10 markers are included in the Avise SLE + Connective Tissue 2.0 panel. Company materials do not state that Exagen reports a summary score for the prognostic test.
 
Regulatory Status
Clinical laboratories may develop and validate tests in-house and market them as a laboratory service; laboratory-developed tests must meet the general regulatory standards of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA). The Avise SLE + Connective Tissue 2.0 test (Exagen Diagnostics) is available under the auspices of CLIA.
Coding
There is no specific CPT code for this panel of tests.
 
There are codes that would likely be used for some of the component tests such as:
 
83520: Immunoassay for analyte other than infectious agent antibody or infectious agent antigen; quantitative, not otherwise specified
86038: Antinuclear antibodies (ANA);
86039: Antinuclear antibodies (ANA); titer
86146: Beta 2 Glycoprotein I antibody, each
86147: Cardiolipin (phospholipid) antibody, each Ig class
86200: Cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP), antibody
86225: Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) antibody; native or double stranded
86235: Extractable nuclear antigen, antibody to, any method (eg, nRNP, SS-A, SS-B, Sm, RNP, Sc170, J01), each antibody
86376: Microsomal antibodies (eg, thyroid or thyroid-kidney), each
86800: Thyroglobulin antibody
88184: Flow cytometry, cell surface, cytoplasmic, or nuclear marker, technical component only, first marker
88185: second marker
88187: Flow cytometry, interpretation; 2 to 8 markers
 
Some payers such as Medicare might instruct the use of the unlisted chemistry code for the whole panel:
84999: Unlisted chemistry procedure.
 
Due to the reporting of an index score for the entire panel, the test would more accurately be reported with the unlisted multianalyte assay with algorithmic analysis (MAAA) CPT code – 81599.

Policy/
Coverage:
Serum biomarker panel testing with proprietary algorithms and/or index scores (e.g., AVISE SLE, AVISE CTD, AVISE SLE Prognostic) for the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus does not meet member benefit certificate primary coverage criteria that there be scientific evidence of effectiveness in improving health outcomes.
 
For members with contracts without primary coverage criteria, serum biomarker panel testing with proprietary algorithms and/or index scores for the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus is considered investigational. Investigational services are specific contract exclusions in most member benefit certificates of coverage.
 

Rationale:
This policy was created in 2014 with a search of the MEDLINE database through July 2014. Assessment of a diagnostic technology typically focuses on 3 categories of evidence: 1) technical performance (test-retest reliability or interrater reliability); 2) diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive value) in relevant populations of patients; and 3) demonstration that the diagnostic information can be used to improve patient outcomes. In addition, subsequent use of a technology outside of the investigational setting may also be evaluated.
 
Technical Accuracy
Some individual biomarkers, eg, ANA and anti-dsDNA, are considered standard of care in the diagnosis of connective tissue diseases, and, presumably, the technical accuracy of these tests has been established. The technical accuracy of tests for novel biomarkers in biomarker panel tests is not known.
 
Diagnostic Accuracy
 
Serum biomarker panel tests
No studies were identified that evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of any commercially available biomarker panel for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
 
One study, published by Kalunian et al in 2012 and supported by Exagen Diagnostics, evaluated the performance of a 7-marker biomarker panel for the diagnosis of SLE; some of these markers are included in a commercially available panel test (Kalunian, 2012). The biomarkers included the auto-antibodies antinuclear antibodies (ANA), anti-dsDNA, and anti-mutated citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV) measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, the authors assessed the cell-bound complement activation products, complement receptor 1 levels on erythrocytes and complement C4d levels on erythrocytes (EC4d), platelets (PC4d) and B cells (BC4d), determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting.
 
The study was cross-sectional and enrolled 593 individuals at 14 sites in the U.S. The sample consisted of 210 patients with SLE (according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria, updated in 1997), 178 patients with other rheumatic diseases and 205 healthy volunteers. Test results were evaluated by scientists blinded to patient diagnosis.
 
In a multivariate logistic regression, SLE diagnosis was associated with a positive ANA test, a negative anti-MCV test, and elevated values of EC4d and BC4d (area under the curve [AUC]=0.92, p<0.001). The weighted sum of these 4 markers correctly categorized 106 of 148 (71.6%) of SLE patients who were anti-dsDNA negative. (The investigators evaluated the 4-marker index score among individuals who tested negative for anti-dsDNA because of the low sensitivity of this test, 29.5%, and thus high false negative rate). The specificity of the 4-marker index was 98.0% (200 of 204 healthy volunteers with test results were correctly classified). When anti-dsDNA was added to the 4-marker panel, the test had 80% sensitivity for SLE (168 of 210 SLE patients were correctly classified). Moreover, this 5-marker test had 97.6% specificity among healthy individuals (200 of 205 were correctly classified as not having SLE). Moreover, the 5-marker test had 87% specificity in patients with other rheumatic diseases; the most false positives, 9, were in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
 
Limitations of the study are that it did not include the population of greatest interest to SLE diagnostic testing; that is, individuals with symptoms suggestive of SLE who have not already received a diagnosis. Instead it included individuals either known to have SLE or another rheumatic disease or known to be healthy. Moreover, test accuracy was not compared with concurrent physician diagnosis.
 
It is important to note that the biomarkers in the 5-marker test are part of the 10-marker Avise 2.0 SLE test marketed by Exagen. It is not clear whether the index score reported along with the Avise 2.0 panel is the same or different as the index score reported in the Kalunian et al study.
 
Novel panel components: CB-CAPs
As previously discussed, CB-CAPs are key components of a commercially available biomarker panel test for lupus diagnosis. CB-CAPs include complement C4d levels on erythrocytes, platelets, and B cells. Preliminary investigations of each of these biomarkers have been done by a research team at the University of Pittsburgh.
 
A study on lymphyocyte-bound complement activation products was published by Liu et al in 2009 (Liu, 2009). This was a cross-sectional study including 224 patients with SLE (according to ACR criteria), 179 patients with other autoimmune or inflammatory diseases and 114 healthy controls. Levels of lymphyocyte-bound complement activation products, T-cell bound C4d and C3d (TC4d and TC3d) and B-cell- bound C4d and C3d (BC4d and BC3d) were measured in all participants. The diagnostic accuracy of these markers was accessed using receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. The AUC was 0.727 for TC4d and 0.770 for BC4d. Based on these estimates, TC4d was estimated to be 56% sensitive and 80% specific for differentiating SLE from other diseases. BC4d had 56% sensitivity and 80% specificity.
 
In addition, the authors compared the CB-CAPs with other, conventionally used, SLE markers. The markers were evaluated as a confirmatory test in patients who tested positive for ANA. This analysis only included the SLE patients, 223 of 224 of whom (99.6%) were positive for ANA. Of the 223 ANA-positive patients, 141 (63%) patients had elevated levels of TC4d and/or BC4d. In contrast, 59 of the 209 ANA-positive patients (28%) tested positive for anti-dsDNA. Moreover, when the more commonly used CAPs, serum C3 and serum C4, were evaluated, 67 of 221 (30%) of ANA-positive patients tested positive for C3 and 82 of 221 patients (37%) tested positive for C4.
 
Previously, a study on platelet C4d was published by Navratil in 2006 (Navratil, 2006). The cross-sectional study included 105 patients with SLE (according to ACR criteria), 115 patients with other autoimmune or inflammatory diseases, and 100 healthy controls. Abnormal levels of platelet C4d were detected in 18% of SLE patients. False negative rate and sensitivity rates were not reported. The authors reported that the marker was 100% specific for a diagnosis of SLE compared with healthy controls and 98% specific compared with patients who had other diseases.
 
Thirdly, Manzi et al reported on the diagnostic accuracy of erythrocyte C4d in 2004 (Manzi, 2004). The cross-sectional study included 100 patients with SLE (according to ACR criteria), 133 patients with other autoimmune or inflammatory diseases and 84 healthy controls. Overall, erythrocyte C4d was 86% sensitive and 71% specific. Moreover, the authors reported that erythrocyte C4d was 72% sensitive and 79% specific for SLE versus other diseases, and 81% sensitive and 91% specific for SLE versus healthy controls.
 
The CB-CAPs lymphocyte-bound BC4d, platelet C4d and erythrocyte C4d are included in the panel test evaluated in the Kalunian et al study discussed earlier (Kalunian, 2012).  As in the Kalunian study, all of the other studies included individuals with known diagnoses; none included patients of greatest interest for diagnostic test—those with symptoms suggestive of disease. Also similar was the lack of a concurrent reference standard in the studies.
 
Effect on Patient Outcomes
No studies were identified that evaluate the impact of serum biomarker panel testing for SLE on patient management decisions or patient outcomes.
 
Summary
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune connective tissue disease that can be difficult to diagnose because patients often present with diverse, nonspecific symptoms, and commonly used laboratory tests are not highly accurate. Currently, the diagnosis of SLE depends on a combination of clinical signs and symptoms and individual laboratory tests. More accurate laboratory tests for SLE could facilitate diagnosis of the disease in many patients. Recently, laboratory-developed, diagnostic panel tests with proprietary algorithms and/or index scores for the diagnosis of SLE have become commercially available.
 
Panel tests for SLE include markers that are standard in the work-up of SLE, but also contain novel markers, most notably cell-bound complement activation products (CB-CAPs). The accuracy of CB-CAPs in establishing a diagnosis of SLE is not known, nor is the use of these novel biomarkers recommended in clinical practice guidelines. In addition to reporting the results of the panel of tests, an index score is reported that rates how suggestive the results of the panel are of a diagnosis of SLE. Information is not available on how this index score is calculated, nor is it known how this score performs in diagnosing SLE compared with currently accepted clinical and laboratory criteria. Finally, the utility of assessing multiple biomarkers simultaneously, rather than the more commonly performed sequential testing, is unknown.
 
Practice Guidelines and Position Statements
In 2014, an international group including participants in the European autoimmunity standardization initiative and the International Union of Immunologic Societies published recommendations on the assessment of autoantibodies to cellular antigens (Agmon-Levin, 2014). The recommendations included the following statements relevant to the diagnosis of SLE:
 
    • The diagnosis of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARD) requires a panel of specific laboratory tests (ie, ANA, anti-dsDNA, anti-ENA antibodies)
 
    • The detection of ANA is the first-level test for laboratory diagnosis of SARD.
 
    • If the ANA test is positive, testing for anti-dsDNA antibodies is advised when there is clinical suspicion of SLE
 
    • If the ANA test is positive, testing for anti-ENA antibodies is recommended.
 
2015 Update
A literature search conducted through July 2015 did not reveal any new information that would prompt a change in the coverage statement. The key identified literature is summarized below.
 
Putterman and colleagues published data from a large cross-sectional industry-sponsored study evaluating serum biomarkers for the diagnosis of SLE (Putterman, 2014). This study included an analysis of the 10 markers included in the Avise SLE test (plus ANA) using 2-tier testing logic similar to that used in the commercially available panel (see Background section). The study included 2 cohorts (total N=794); 593 participants were enrolled between April to August 2010 and 201 participants enrolled between June 2011 and September 2013. Together, the 2 cohorts consisted of 304 patients who fulfilled the ACR classification criteria for SLE, 161 patients diagnosed with other rheumatic diseases and 205 heathy volunteers. Results of serum testing were available for 764 of 794 (96%) participants.
 
The diagnostic accuracy of the cell-bound complement activation products (CB-CAP) EC4d and BC4d were compared with reduced complement (C3, C4) and anti-dsDNA. The area under the receiver operating curve (ROC) was significantly higher for EC4d (0.82) and BC4d (0.84) than for C3 (0.73) and C4 (0.72), p<0.001. The area under the ROC curve was significantly higher for BC4d than anti-dsDNA (0.79, p=0.009) but there was not a significant difference between EC4d and anti-dsDNA.
 
A total of 140 patients with SLE (46%), 9 patients with other diseases (3%) and 1 healthy volunteer tested positive for at least 1 of the 4 tier 1 markers. Patients testing negative for tier 1 tests underwent tier 2 testing and an index score was calculated. A total of 102 of 164 patients with SLE analyzed in tier 2 (62%) had an index score greater than 0 (ie, suggestive of SLE). Moreover, 245 of 276 patients with other rheumatic diseases had an index score less than 0, ie, not suggestive of SLE. When results of tier 1 and tier 2 testing were combined, the overall sensitivity for SLE was 80% (242/304) and the overall specificity for distinguishing SLE from other diseases was 86% (245/285). The specificity for distinguishing between SLE and health volunteers was 98% (201/205).
 
A limitation of the Putterman et al  and Kalunian et al studies is that study populations included patients with SLE who met ACR classification criteria, but not patients with symptoms suggestive of SLE who failed to meet ACR criteria. It is not known how the diagnostic accuracy of the panel test compares to the ACR classification criteria or to concurrent clinician diagnosis (in the Putterman et al study, the mean time since SLE diagnosis was 11 years). Furthermore, although they are included in the SLICC classification criteria, the complement factors C3 and C4 are not widely used in clinical practice to diagnose lupus and therefore the clinical significance of higher diagnostic accuracy for EC4d and BC4d is unclear.
 
The evidence for the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in patients who have signs and/or symptoms of SLE, using serum biomarker panel testing, consists of several diagnostic accuracy studies. Outcomes of importance are diagnostic accuracy of the test, overall survival, symptoms and disease remission. One study evaluated a panel similar to a commercially available test; it found that the panel test had somewhat higher specificity and lower sensitivity than the most commonly currently used biomarkers. The clinical significance of this degree of difference in diagnostic accuracy is unclear. There is also uncertainly around how the use of a serum biomarker panel test for SLE would change patient management. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects on health outcomes of the use of serum biomarker panel testing with proprietary algorithms/ and or index scores for the diagnosis of SLE.
 
2016 Update
A literature search conducted through August 2016 did not reveal any new information that would prompt a change in the coverage statement.  
 
2018 Update
A literature search conducted using the MEDLINE database did not reveal any new information that would prompt a change in the coverage statement.
 
An industry-sponsored study analyzed serum biomarkers as well as an algorithm for diagnosing SLE (Wallace, 2016). This study analyzed markers in the Avise Lupus (plus ANA) test using a 2-tier testing logic to evaluate SLE patients who met ACR criteria (n=75) and patients with primary fibromyalgia (n=75). High expression of CB-CAP EC4d or BC4d had 43% sensitivity and 96% specificity for the diagnosis of SLE. Use of a multianalyte assay with the algorithm, including CB-CAP levels, generated indeterminate results in 12 of the 150 subjects enrolled. For the remainder of patients, use of the algorithm to diagnosis SLE was 60% sensitive and 100% specific. Study limitations included selection of patients with well-established diagnosis and long duration of disease.
 
The evidence remains insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

CPT/HCPCS:
81599Unlisted multianalyte assay with algorithmic analysis
83520Immunoassay for analyte other than infectious agent antibody or infectious agent antigen; quantitative, not otherwise specified
84999Unlisted chemistry procedure
86038Antinuclear antibodies (ANA);
86039Antinuclear antibodies (ANA); titer
86146Beta 2 Glycoprotein I antibody, each
86147Cardiolipin (phospholipid) antibody, each Ig class
86200Cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP), antibody
86225Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) antibody; native or double stranded
86235Extractable nuclear antigen, antibody to, any method (eg, nRNP, SS-A, SS-B, Sm, RNP, Sc170, J01), each antibody
86376Microsomal antibodies (eg, thyroid or liver-kidney), each
86800Thyroglobulin antibody
88184Flow cytometry, cell surface, cytoplasmic, or nuclear marker, technical component only; first marker
88185Flow cytometry, cell surface, cytoplasmic, or nuclear marker, technical component only; each additional marker (List separately in addition to code for first marker)
88187Flow cytometry, interpretation; 2 to 8 markers

References: Wallace DJ, Silverman SL, Conklin J, et al.(2016) Systemic lupus erythematosus and primary fibromyalgia can be distinguished by testing for cell-bound complement activation products. Lupus Sci Med. 2016;3(1):e000127. PMID 26870391


Group specific policy will supersede this policy when applicable. This policy does not apply to the Wal-Mart Associates Group Health Plan participants or to the Tyson Group Health Plan participants.
CPT Codes Copyright © 2019 American Medical Association.