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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Review of the Disease and Treatment Options

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OBJECTIVE: To provide an up-to-date review of the etiology, epidemiology, clinical features, diagnostic findings, and treatment options for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

DATA SOURCES: A PubMed search of English language articles using a combination of words: elderly, systemic lupus erythematosus*, late onset systemic lupus erythematosus*, etiology, screening, diagnosis, or treatment to identify original studies, guidelines, and reviews on systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE, and late onset systemic lupus erythematosus, published 2000 to present.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: Original studies, clinical reviews, references, and guidelines were obtained and evaluated on their clinical relevance.

DATA SYNTHESIS: The literature included guidelines and considerations for the etiology, diagnosis, screening, and management of SLE.

CONCLUSION: SLE is a chronic autoimmune disorder. It predominantly affects younger women, but can occur in up to 20% of patients 50 years of age or older. SLE affects almost every system in the body, with varying degrees of severity. The diagnosis is based on criteria set by the American College of Rheumatology. Management is individualized and depends on presenting symptoms.
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Keywords: ACR = American College of Rheumatology; ANA = Antinuclear antibodies; Anti-DNA = Anti-deoxyribonucleic acid; Anti-La/ SSB = Anti-La/Sjögren syndrome type B; Anti-RNP antibodies = Anti-ribonucleoprotein; Anti-Ro/SSA = Anti-Ro/Sjögren syndrome type A; Anti-Sm antibodies = Anti-Smith antibodies; Anti-dsDNA = Anti-double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid; CH50 = 50% hemolytic complement; COX-1 = Cyclooxygenase-1; COX-2 = Cyclooxygenase-2; EULAR = European League Against Rheumatism; Elderly; Erythematosus; Geriatrics; IV = Intravenous; Late-onset systemic lupus erythematosus; MTX = Methotrexate; NSAID = Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug; SLE = Systemic lupus erythematosus; SLICC = Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinic; Systemic lupus; Treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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