Chuang Gung Medical Foundation, Division of Pediatric Allergy, Asthma and Rheumatology - UNREGISTERED VERSION

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About SLE

Rheumatology center

About Systemic lupus erythematosus

by Min-Jay Yang

       Systemic lupus erythematosus (also commonly known as SLE) is one of many pediatric autoimmune diseases.  The disease is mainly caused by a variety of different auto-antibodies and their damage on different organ systems.  
The disease mostly occurs in female between the age 15 to 45 years old.  The average age for pediatric SLE diagnosis is around 12 to 13 years old.  The disease most common presentation included skin rash, unexplained fever, oral ulcer, arthralgia or arthritis along with laboratory findings such as anemia or kidney damage.  The disease presentation can varies greatly between individuals.  A diagnosis is made by having 4 out of the 11 criteria set by the American College of Rheumatology classification.

        The first line of treatment for SLE is corticosteroid, NSAID and anti-malaria drugs, together with life style modification such as avoid direct sunlight exposure and adequate rest.  Immunosuppressive agents are frequently used in more advanced disease.    

         The prognosis for pediatric SLE improved much over the years with 5 year survival rate higher than 95% with progressively lower rate in long term morbidity.  The key to good treatment outcome is good teamwork between the child, parents and doctors.  

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