SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus)
A chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system. Patients with lupus have unusual antibodies in their blood that are targeted against their own body tissues. Lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and nervous system. When only the skin is involved, the condition is called discoid lupus. When internal organs are involved, the condition is called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Up to 10% of persons with discoid lupus (lupus limited to the skin) eventually develop the systemic form of lupus (SLE). SLE is eight times more common in women than men. The causes of SLE are unknown. However, heredity, viruses, ultraviolet light, and drugs may all play a role. Eleven criteria have been established for the diagnosis of SLE: {{}}Malar (over the cheeks of the face) "butterfly" rash Discoid skin rash: patchy redness that can cause scarring Photosensitivity: skin rash in reaction to sunlight exposure Mucus membrane ulcers: ulceration of the lining of the mouth, nose or throat Arthritis: 2 or more swollen, tender joints of the extremities Pleuritis/pericarditis: inflammation of the lining tissue around the heart or lungs, usually associated with chest pain with breathing Kidney abnormalities: abnormal amounts of urine protein or cellular elements Brain irritation: manifested by seizures (convulsions) and/or psychosis Blood count abnormalities: low counts of white or red blood cells, or platelets Immunologic disorder: abnormal immune tests include anti-DNA or anti-Sm (Smith) antibodies, falsely positive blood test for syphilis, anticardiolipin antibodies, lupus anticoagulant, or positive LE prep test Antinuclear antibody: positive ANA antibody testing The treatment of SLE is directed toward decreasing inflammation and/or the level of autoimmune activity. Persons with SLE can help prevent "flares" of

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Systemic lupus erythematosus — A chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body s tissues are attacked by its own immune system. Patients with lupus have unusual antibodies in their blood that are targeted against… …   Medical dictionary

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  • systemic lupus erythematosus — Pathol. an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the connective tissues, occurring mainly among middle aged women, chiefly characterized by skin eruptions, joint pain, recurrent pleurisy, and kidney disease. Abbr.: SLE * * * …   Universalium

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  • lupus erythematosus — lupus er·y·the·ma·to·sus .er ə .thē mə tō səs n a disorder characterized by skin inflammation esp SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS * * * (LE) a chronic inflammatory disease of connective tissue, affecting the skin and various internal organs… …   Medical dictionary

  • lupus erythematosus — /er euh thee meuh toh seuhs, them euh /, Pathol. any of several autoimmune diseases, esp. systemic lupus erythematosus, characterized by red, scaly skin patches. [1855 60; < NL: erythematous lupus] * * * Either of two inflammatory autoimmune… …   Universalium

  • lupus erythematosus — LE a chronic inflammatory disease of connective tissue, affecting the skin and various internal organs (systemic LE, SLE). Typically, there is a red scaly butterfly shaped rash on the face, over the cheek and bridge of the nose (butterfly rash);… …   The new mediacal dictionary

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