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Systemic lupus erythematosus—management 

Systemic lupus erythematosus—management
Systemic lupus erythematosus—management
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)

Ida Dzifa Dey

and David Isenberg

Previous versions of this chapter are available. To view earlier versions of this chapter view the full site here.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune rheumatic disease with varied presentation and a disease course characterized by remission and flares. Over the last 50 years the prognosis of SLE has improved considerably. The introductions of corticosteroids and later of cytotoxic drugs, dialysis, and renal transplantation were the major contributors to this improvement. Nevertheless, the treatment and general management of lupus continues to present a challenge. While lupus may, for some patients, represent a relatively mild set of problems, many others require large doses of immunosuppressive drugs, which carry long-term concerns about side effects. New immunotherapeutic drugs, with actions more closely targeted to the immune cells and molecules involved in the pathogenesis of SLE, are being introduced and the future looks promising. The role of early atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease as a cause of death in patients with SLE is increasingly recognized and will present further challenges in the future.

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