The clinical features of SLE may vary markedly from relatively mild symptoms through to life-threatening multi-organ disease (1).
Non specific features of SLE include:
- weight loss
- oral ulcers
- myalgia and myositis - in about one third of patients
- photosensitive skin rashes
- lymphadenopathy - occurs in about half of cases, often in association with hepatomegaly
- pleuritic chest pains
- symptoms of dry eyes and mouth
- Raynaud's phenomenon (2)
In women, disease may be exacerbated by menstruation and pregnancy.
The approximate frequency of systems involvement is given below:
- haematological 95%
- joints 95%
- cutaneous 80%
- pulmonary 65%
- nervous system 60%
- renal 30-55%
- gastrointestinal 20%
- ocular 15%
- (1) Arthritis Research UK. Reports on Rheumatic Diseases. Topical Reviews No 2, spring 2013. Overview of management of systemic lupus erythematosus.
- (2) D'Cruz DP. Systemic lupus erythematosus. BMJ. 2006;332(7546):890-4.
Last reviewed 08/2021