Generalised disorder that can affect any system.
Most commonly affects women during their reproductive years.
Symptoms and signs may accumulate over time.
The diagnosis is made using criteria recommended by the American College of Rheumatology.
Treatments for mild to moderate serositis or arthritis include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), hydroxychloroquine, or corticosteroids. Treatments for more severe disease may include cyclophosphamide or mycophenolate mofetil plus corticosteroids.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic multi-system disorder that most commonly affects women during their reproductive years. It is characterised by the presence of anti-nuclear antibodies. In addition to constitutional symptoms, it most frequently involves the skin and joints, although serositis, nephritis, haematological cytopenias, and neurological manifestations may occur during the course of the disease. Earlier diagnosis and better management have resulted in a lower prevalence of life-threatening disease.
Wishaw General Hospital
MMC declares that she has no competing interests.
Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist
Department of Rheumatology
Glasgow Royal Infirmary
RM holds shares in GSK to the value less than £12,000.
Dr Meng May Chee and Dr Rajan Madhok would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Gayle McKellar, a previous contributor to this monograph. GM declares that she has no competing interests.
Medical University of South Carolina
JCO declares that he has no competing interests.
Professor of Medicine
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
NJO declares that she has no competing interests.
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