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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

George E. Ehrlich, MD
JAMA. 1975;232(13):1361-1363. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03250130045023.
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SYSTEMIC lupus erythematosus (SLE) is no longer thought of as the dreaded killer of young women, the gory picture illustrated in older textbooks: disfiguring skin eruptions, depressed blood elements, polyserositis, and rapidly fatal proliferative glomerulonephritis. Instead, a spectrum of disease has emerged, recognizing that both sexes are at risk at almost all ages. Preliminary criteria,1 evolved by a subcommittee of the American Rheumatism Association to aid in diagnosis, include the following: facial erythema (the classic butterfly rash); discoid lupus; Raynaud phenomenon; alopecia; photosensitivity; oral or nasopharyngeal ulceration; arthritis without deformity, involving one or more peripheral joints with pain on motion, tenderness, and effusion or periarticular soft tissue swelling in the absence of deformity; specific laboratory findings, including lupus erythematosus (LE) cells; chronic false-positive serologic test for syphilis; profuse proteinuria; cellular casts in the urine; hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, or thrombocytopenia; and the associated characteristics of pleuritis or pericarditis and psychosis


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