Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) now have an 85 to 90% 10-year survival rate. However, the challenge remains to ensure that young women with SLE, the group mainly affected by the disease, survive with low morbidity beyond this time.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex multisystem autoimmune inflammatory disorder of unknown aetiology. Its immunopathogenesis is characterised by B cell dysfunction, autoantibody production and immune complex deposition in affected organs. It is considered the prototypical connective tissue disorder. Although it can be fatal, overall the prognosis has improved dramatically over the past few decades.
This article reviews the diagnosis and management of SLE, including the new anti-B cell biological therapies.
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