Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (i/sɪˈstɛmɪk ˈluːpəs ˌɛrɪθiːməˈtoʊsəs/), often abbreviated to SLE or lupus, is a systemic autoimmune disease (or autoimmune connective tissue disease) that can affect any part of the body. As occurs in other autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body's cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. It is a Type III hypersensitivity reaction in which antibody-immune complexes precipitate and cause a further immune response.

SLE most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in child-bearing years ages 15 to 35, and is also more common in those of non-European descent.

There is no cure for SLE. It is treated with immunosuppression, mainly with cyclophosphamide, corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants. SLE can be fatal, although with recent medical advances, fatalities are becoming increasingly rare. Survival for people with SLE in the United States, Canada, and Europe has risen to approximately 95% at five years, 90% at 10 years, and 78% at 20 years, and now approaches that of matched controls without lupus.

Childhood systemic lupus erythematosus generally presents between the ages of 3 and 15, with girls outnumbering boys 4:1, and typical skin manifestations being butterfly eruption on the face and photosensitivity.

Read more about Systemic Lupus ErythematosusSigns and Symptoms, Causes, Pathophysiology, Prevention, Treatment, Prognosis, Epidemiology, Notable Cases, Research

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Famous quotes containing the word lupus:

    Regna regnis lupi, The State is a wolf unto the State. It is not a pessimistic lamentation like the old homo homini lupus [Man is a wolf to Man], but a positive creed and political ideal.
    Johan Huizinga (1872–1945)