Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus: a cutaneous marker for a distinct lupus erythematosus subset

Arch Dermatol. 1979 Dec;115(12):1409-15.


We have characterized the clinical and laboratory features of 27 patients who had in common a recurring, superficial, nonscarring type of cutaneous lupus erythematosus (LE) that occurred in a characteristic distribution (subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus [SCLE]). This clinically distinct form of cutaneous LE has not previously been analyzed as a separate entity and thus, its clinical importance has not been fully appreciated. We found that these patients frequently had a mild systemic illness marked by musculoskeletal complaints and serologic abnormalities. Forty-eight percent had systemic LE by American Rheumatism Association criteria; however, none had serious CNS or renal disease. Thus, those with SCLE are a subset of patients with LE who generally have an illness intermediate in severity between discoid LE and severe systemic LE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Fluocinonide / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Diseases / pathology*


  • Fluocinonide
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Cyclophosphamide