Lupus: an overview of the disease and management options

P T. 2012 Apr;37(4):240-9.

Abstract

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease with a wide range of clinical presentations resulting from its effect on multiple organ systems. There are four main types of lupus: neonatal, discoid, drug-induced, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the type that affects the majority of patients. Patients with lupus experience a loss of self-tolerance as a result of abnormal immunological function and the production of autoantibodies, which lead to the formation of immune complexes that may adversely affect healthy tissue.Although the precise etiologic mechanism is unknown, genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors, as well as immune abnormalities, have been identified. Associations between lupus onset and age, sex, geography, and race have also been established. Management of this disease should be individualized and should include both pharmacological and nonpharmacological modalities for symptom relief and resolution as well as improved quality of life.