Management of immune cytopenias in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus - Old and new

Autoimmun Rev. 2013 May;12(7):784-91. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2013.02.001. Epub 2013 Feb 24.


There are various immune cytopenias associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The most common one is anemia; however, there are different etiologies for the anemia caused by SLE. Anemia could be due to chronic disease, secondary to renal insufficiency, blood loss, drug induced or autoimmune hemolysis. There are other very rare causes of anemia secondary to SLE which include red cell aplasia, aplastic anemia, and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia. Treatment of the anemia would be according to the cause. Leukopenia, neutropenia, and lymphopenia are hematologic complications associated with SLE, and in majority of cases no treatment is required. Thrombocytopenia is one of the complications of SLE and is usually treated by steroids. However, there are significant numbers of patients which will either not respond to or relapse after treatment. This article summarizes immune cytopenias seen in patients with SLE, and it also discusses management of these cytopenias.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / etiology
  • Anemia / immunology
  • Anemia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Leukopenia / etiology
  • Leukopenia / immunology
  • Leukopenia / therapy*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lymphopenia / etiology
  • Lymphopenia / immunology
  • Lymphopenia / therapy*
  • Neutropenia / etiology
  • Neutropenia / immunology
  • Neutropenia / therapy*
  • Pancytopenia / etiology
  • Pancytopenia / immunology
  • Pancytopenia / therapy*
  • Thrombocytopenia / etiology
  • Thrombocytopenia / immunology
  • Thrombocytopenia / therapy*