Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

  • Teja KapoorEmail author
  • Pooja Mahadeshwar


  • SLE is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects predominantly young women, with greater prevalence and more severe disease in blacks and Hispanics. There are both genetic and environmental triggers to the disease.

  • There are two classification criteria for SLE, with manifestations that include the cutaneous, musculoskeletal, serositis, renal, neuropsychiatric, cytopenias, and serological antibodies in the classification for SLE.

  • Medications may also cause lupus-like symptoms, hydralazine, procainamide, penicillamine, quinidine, minocycline, isoniazid, antitumor necrosis factor inhibitors, diltiazem, interferon-alpha, methyldopa, and chlorpromazine. NSAIDs and thiazide diuretics can trigger a photosensitive rash in SLE patients.

  • Renal involvement in SLE is divided into six classes, which can be differentiated by renal biopsy.

  • The ACR has 19 case definitions for neuropsychiatric lupus (NPSLE), including diffuse and focal manifestations. Anti-neuronal antibodies, anti-ribosomal P antibodies, antiphospholipid antibodies, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antibodies, and anti-aquaporin-4 antibodies (neuromyelitis optica) may play a role in the NPSLE.

  • Cyclophosphamide may decrease fertility in lupus.

  • Estrogen-containing oral contraceptives are safe in certain populations of SLE patients with no or low-disease activity and those who do not have antiphospholipid antibody syndrome.

  • Hydroxychloroquine may reduce the risk for SLE flares during pregnancy, and data suggests that it may lessen the risk for neonatal lupus in SSA- or SSB-positive mothers.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RheumatologyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineMount Sinai Beth IsraelNew YorkUSA

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