Systemic lupus erythematosus - Overview
Disseminated lupus erythematosus; SLE; Lupus; Lupus erythematosus; Discoid lupus
Definition of Systemic lupus erythematosus:
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a long-term autoimmune disorder that may affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease, which means the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. This leads to long-term (chronic) inflammation.
The underlying cause of autoimmune diseases is not fully known.
SLE is much more common in women than men. It may occur at any age, but appears most often in people between the ages of 10 and 50. African Americans and Asians are affected more often than people from other races.
SLE may also be caused by certain drugs. For information on this cause, see Drug-induced lupus erythematosus
- Reviewed last on: 2/14/2011
- Michael E. Makover, MD is a professor and attending in rheumatology at the New York University Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Ruiz-Irastorza G, Ramos-Casals M, Brito-Zeron P, Khamashta MA. Clinical efficacy and side effects of antimalarials in systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010;69:20-28.
Hahn BH, Tsao BP. Pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Harris ED Jr., et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 74.
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