Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

  • Eleftherios Pelechas
  • Evripidis Kaltsonoudis
  • Paraskevi V. Voulgari
  • Alexandros A. Drosos


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease affecting multiple organ systems. The course of the disease is unpredictable with mild to life-threatening complications. Circulating autoantibodies directed against cell nuclear components is the main laboratory characteristic. As in other autoimmune diseases, the direct (health care costs) and indirect (productivity loss) socioeconomic costs of the disease are of major significance with an average annual direct medical cost to range approximately between 4000–10,000 euros (mild/severe cases respectively). Hippocrates was the first who described cutaneous ulcerations consistent with SLE. The word “lupus” comes from the Latin, which means “wolf”. It is attributed to the thirteenth century physician Rogerius who used it to describe erosive facial lesions that were reminiscent of a wolf’s bite. In 1872, cutaneous lupus (CL) was identified as a distinct form of SLE. In 1948 the lupus erythematosus cell (LE) was discovered by the American clinical haematologists Malcolm Hargraves and Robert Morton and it allowed the diagnosis of individuals with different forms of the disease.

References and Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleftherios Pelechas
    • 1
  • Evripidis Kaltsonoudis
    • 1
  • Paraskevi V. Voulgari
    • 1
  • Alexandros A. Drosos
    • 1
  1. 1.Rheumatology Clinic - Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece

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