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Feature Article

Systemic lupus erythematosus: reducing life-threatening progression

CHARLES A. INDERJEETH, PAULINE HABIB, CHANAKYA SHARMA, JOHANNES NOSSENT

Figures

© BRYSON BIOMEDICAL ILLUSTRATIONS/CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO/SPL
© BRYSON BIOMEDICAL ILLUSTRATIONS/CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO/SPL

Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a multisystem autoimmune disease of unknown aetiology. It can affect almost any organ system and ranges from mild to severe to life-threatening.

Key Points

  • SLE can affect almost any organ system and ranges from mild to severe to life-threatening.
  • There are no specific diagnostic criteria. Clinical criteria combined with immunological and or biopsy criteria are useful to make a diagnosis.
  • The differential diagnosis is wide, and there is significant overlap with other rheumatological conditions that must be excluded.
  • SLE may coexist with other autoimmune diseases such as rhupus syndrome, mixed connective tissue disease and overlap syndromes.
  • SLE affects pregnancy outcomes and increases neonatal complications.
  • Treatment intensity is directed by the severity and risk of organ involvement.
  • Treatment with immunosuppression should be closely monitored for drug toxicity.

Figures

© BRYSON BIOMEDICAL ILLUSTRATIONS/CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO/SPL
© BRYSON BIOMEDICAL ILLUSTRATIONS/CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO/SPL