Last reviewed:December 2019
Last updated:December  2019

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • malar (butterfly) rash
  • photosensitive rash
  • discoid rash

Other diagnostic factors

  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • fever
  • oral ulcers
  • alopecia
  • arthralgia/arthritis
  • fibromyalgia
  • Raynaud phenomenon
  • chest pain and shortness of breath
  • venous or arterial thrombosis
  • hypertension
  • signs of nephrosis (e.g., edema)
  • lymphadenopathy
  • abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • nose ulcers
  • poorly localized proximal limb inflammatory pain with weakness
  • dysrhythmias (e.g., tachycardia), conduction defects, or unexplained cardiomegaly
  • central nervous system (CNS) signs: seizures, cranial nerve abnormalities, cognitive defects, psychosis
  • dysphagia

Risk factors

  • female sex
  • age 15 to 45 years
  • African/Asian descent in Europe and US
  • drugs
  • sun exposure
  • family history of SLE
  • tobacco smoking

Diagnostic investigations

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Consultant Rheumatologist

Wishaw General Hospital

Wishaw

UK

Disclosures

MMC declares that she has no competing interests.

Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist

Department of Rheumatology

Glasgow Royal Infirmary

Glasgow

UK

Disclosures

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 topic.

Peer reviewersVIEW ALL

Associate Director

Medical University of South Carolina

Charleston

SC

Disclosures

JCO declares that he has no competing interests.

Professor of Medicine

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dallas

TX

Disclosures

NJO declares that she has no competing interests.

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