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JCOM Abstract


J Clin Outcomes Manage 
2013 Feb;20(2):85-95
Diagnosis and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus
Kim SJ, McMahon M

Abstract Objective: To review diagnosis and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: Review of the literature in the context of a clinical case. Results: SLE is an autoimmune disorder affecting multiple organ systems. There is no cure, and the disease course is variable with unpredictable outcomes. Despite significant progress in early detection and advancements in treatment, frequent unpredictable flares and complications related to both SLE and treatment require careful monitoring and management. Lifestyle modifications, including sun avoidance, rest, and exercise, are important for managing disease. Antimalarial therapy using hydroxychloroquine is first-line immunomodulatory therapy for mild disease, as studies have shown that it decreases both the likelihood of mild flares and development of new damage from SLE. Corticosteroids are also frequently used, as they provide immediate and effective immunosuppression, but chronic use is limited by the adverse side-effect profile. In more severe cases, immunomodulators and biologic agents are often used as steroid-sparing agents. Conclusion: Although significant progress has been made in the detection and treatment of patients with SLE, there is still significant morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. Careful monitoring and management of disease activity is recommended to improve patient outcomes.

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