Major findings in the understanding of the epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus and in the description and understanding of its presentation and course in individual organ systems are reviewed. The role of serologic tests as correlates of disease activity remains controversial. No consensus has been reached on the association of either corticosteroid dose or of antiphospholipid antibodies with avascular necrosis of bone. Multiple rare presentations of cutaneous lupus have been reviewed during the past year. The role of hormones in the activity of lupus and the use of hormonal agents in the treatment of lupus are rapidly expanding and contentious areas of research. Cognitive function deficit continues to be an area of great interest, with studies differing on whether psychiatric disorders or organic lupus (or both) are responsible. Finally, fatigue and the potential role of fibromyalgia as an explanation for "lupus fatigue," are of major interest.