Pierre Cazenave and the first detailed modern description of lupus erythematosus

Semin Arthritis Rheum. 1999 Apr;28(5):305-13. doi: 10.1016/s0049-0172(99)80014-6.


Objectives: To provide an English translation of the first detailed description of lupus erythematosus along with a reproduction of the first color illustration of the disorder, as well as an interpretive analysis.

Methods: Review of primary and secondary historical sources.

Results: Although lupus as we know it was first mentioned in medieval times, the first, extensive, accurate classification and description of the condition represented an evolution of Pierre Cazenave's thinking over his 60-year professional career.

Conclusions: Given his complete lack of effective diagnostic tools, Dr. Cazenave demonstrated tremendous intuitive powers of deduction in shaping our understanding of the disorder.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • France
  • History, 15th Century
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / etiology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / history*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy
  • Medical Illustration / history

Personal name as subject

  • P L Cazenave