Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory disease with multifactorial
etiology. Although clinical manifestations are varied, the skin is an important
target-organ, which contributes to the inclusion of skin lesions in 4 out of the 17
new criteria for the diagnosis of the disease, according to the Systemic Lupus
International Collaborating Clinics. The cutaneous manifestations of lupus are
pleomorphic. Depending on their clinical characteristics, they can be classified into
Acute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus, Subacute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus, Chronic
Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus and Intermittent Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus.
Treatment is based on preventive measures, reversal of inflammation, prevention of
damage to target organs and relief of adverse events due to pharmacological therapy.
The most commonly used treatment options are topical, systemic and surgical
treatment, as well as phototherapy. The correct handling of the cases depends on a
careful evaluation of the morphology of the lesions and the patient's general status,
always taking into consideration not only the benefits but also the side effects of
each therapeutic proposal.
Lupus erythematosus, cutaneous; Phototherapy; Skin; Smoking
Cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) encompasses a variety of lesions that may be refractory to systemic or topical agents. Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) are the most common lesions in clinical practice. The topical calcineurin inhibitors, tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, have been used to treat resistant cutaneous lupus since 2002 and inhibit the proliferation and activation of T-cells and suppress immune-mediated cutaneous inflammation. This article reviews the mechanism of action, efficacy, adverse effects, and the recent concern about their possible carcinogenic effect. Although the total number of patients is small and there is only one relevant randomized controlled study, the data are encouraging. Many patients, previously resistant to systemic agents or topical steroids, improved after four weeks of treatment. DLE and SCLE lesions were less responsive, reflecting the chronicity of the lesions, although more than 50% of patients still showed improvement. Topical calcineurin inhibitors may be a safe and effective alternative to topical steroids for CLE although the only approved indication is for atopic dermatitis.
tacrolimus; pimecrolimus; cutaneous lupus erythematosus; topical calcineurin inhibitors
Neonatal lupus erythematosus (NLE) is an autoimmune disease affecting the fetus as a result of transplacental transfer of anti-Ro autoantibodies. Typically, it presents in the first few months of life with an annular form of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus. We report an unusual case of NLE presenting at birth with scaly erythematous telangiectatic patches and macules with skin atrophy involving the face, head, and upper trunk. Thrombocytopenia was discovered on laboratory investigations. Histopathology of skin biopsy was consistent with subacute cutaneous lupus. The mother was clinically free of disease and had no family history of autoimmune disease. Serology (extra-nuclear antigens) was positive in both the baby and the mother. This is a rare presentation of a rare disease.
Atrophic lesions; congenital lupus erythematosus; Saudi Arabia
Drug-induced lupus erythematosus (dile) syndromes are documented complications of chemotherapeutic agents, including paclitaxel. Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (scle) is a distinct dile syndrome presenting with characteristic annular or papulosquamous skin lesions in a photosensitive distribution with associated high anti-ssa titres. Previously, dile syndromes complicating paclitaxel therapy have been attributed to polyethoxylated castor oil (Kolliphor EL: BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany), the biologic solvent included in the drug’s original formulation (Taxol: Bristol–Myers Squibb, Montreal, QC), rather than the parent chemotherapy molecule. Here, we report a characteristic case of drug-induced scle complicating treatment with nanoparticle albumin bound (nab)–paclitaxel (Abraxane: Celgene, Summit, NJ, U.S.A.), a solvent-free taxane formulation. The pertinent English-language literature is also discussed. This case report is the first to link solvent-free paclitaxel with scle, and it suggests that the parent molecule is responsible for the reaction.
Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel; nab-paclitaxel; subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus; cutaneous drug reactions
Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease (KFD) is an uncommon clinicopathological entity characterized by fever and lymphadenopathy, predominantly involving cervical lymph nodes, accompanied by chills and leukopenia. The diagnosis relies primarily on the presence of typical morphological features in the swelling lymph nodes. KFD can occur as a benign and self-limiting lymphadenopathy, but it can sporadically precede, postdate or coincide with the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The authors report a case of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) in a 42-year-old female preceded by prolonged fever, anemia, leukopenia, and cervical necrotizing lymphadenopathy. About two months later, the patient developed facial and scalp plaques suggestive of lupus skin disease. Histologic and immunologic investigations lead to the diagnosis of SCLE. It is not clear whether KFD associated with lupus skin disease are true KFD or a histopathologic feature of SLE.
Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease; skin; lymphadenitis
In a review of the literature of the last 60 years concerning the association between psychosis and systemic lupus erythematosus, reports of 227 cases of this association were found. The average incidence of psychosis in the various series of systemic lupus erythematosus that were reviewed was 22 per cent. In only 25 per cent of the cases in which the information was given was the psychosis associated with steroid therapy.
The psychiatric manifestations are variable and may be associated with a neurological disorder. Psychosis may antedate by many years other features of lupus. The psychosis due to lupus may respond to steroid therapy. Since systemic lupus erythematosus sometimes may be an important differential diagnosis of functional psychosis, appropriate diagnostic studies should be carried out in psychotic patients who have an accelerated sedimentation rate or positive serological test for syphilis without apparent reason.
The complement system is of great importance in systemic lupus erythematosus. Complete genetically determined deficiencies are with few exceptions reported for the various complement proteins, and most of the deficiency states are rare. Deficiencies of the factors in the classical pathway are also associated with development SLE and SLE-like disorders. Most of the patients with lupus present skin involvement. Approximately, 75–95% of patients with cutaneous lupus erythematosus respond to antimalarial therapy and/or topical glucocorticosteroids. Immunosuppressive agents are usually considered a second-line approach in patients with resistant disease. In this study, we present the clinical features and determine the molecular basis responsible for the complete C4A and C4B deficiencies in a lupus patient presented subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus and resistance to treatment.
Cutaneous lupus erythematosus is a previously undiagnosed side-effect of ranibizumab. Here, we present a case of an 82-year-old female Caucasian patient with wet age-related macular degeneration. Following a single intraocular injection of Lucentis (ranibizumab), she developed a subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus which, with treatment, took nearly 12 months to resolve. This shows that cutaneous lupus erythematosus is a potential side-effect of many medications, including ranibizumab, as in our case and, in an aging population where polypharmacy is a growing reality, clinicians should be aware of how to diagnose and best manage such cases.
Drug reaction; drug-induced; ranibizumab; subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus
Predominant interstitial nephritis is a rare manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus. Only seven cases have been reported in the literature. Owing to the rarity of this entity, the natural history of predominant interstitial nephritis in lupus has not been adequately recorded and an appropriate therapeutic approach has yet to be defined. In this report we present the case of a 25 year old woman with active systemic lupus erythematosus complicated by kidney failure and renal tubular acidosis due to predominant interstitial nephritis. We describe the course of her disease over a three year period. Seven additional patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and predominant interstitial nephritis are reviewed.
Several studies have reported that TNFα is substantially increased within skin lesions of patients with discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) and dermatomyositis (DM) compared to controls. Elevated TNFα has been reported in the sera of some patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, DLE and SCLE, but not in the sera of patients with DM. Because of the key pathogenic role of autoimmunity in these diseases, in this study we sought to evaluate TNFα production by a readily available source of immune cells (namely, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs)) taken from controls and from patients with cutaneous lupus or DM.
Freshly isolated PBMCs were cultured overnight, and TNFα protein accumulation in conditioned medium was determined. In addition, flow cytometry using cell-type-specific markers was performed to determine the sources of TNFα. One-way analysis of variance and Dunnett's multiple comparisons test were performed for statistical comparisons.
Accumulation of TNFα protein in conditioned medium containing PBMCs from DLE patients, but not from SCLE, TLE or DM patients, was significantly greater (19-fold) than that from controls (P < 0.001). In DLE PBMCs, increased TNFα was produced by circulating monocytes and myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs). The mean TNFα fluorescence intensity, but not the total number, of both monocytes and mDCs (P < 0.01) from DLE patients was significantly greater (2.3-fold) than that of controls. There were significantly more (13.3-fold) mDCs with intracellular TNFα in blood from DLE patients (P < 0.001) and DM patients (P < 0.001) compared to controls. Most importantly, a positive correlation was seen in DLE patients between their disease activity measured using the Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus Disease Area and Severity Index and TNFα protein secretion (r = 0.61, P < 0.08).
TNFα protein production by PBMCs is greater in DLE patients than in patients with other cutaneous forms of lupus and DM or in controls. Flow cytometric studies demonstrated that circulating monocytes and mDCs contributed to this increased TNFα production. Monocytes and mDCs are present in lesional skin, and the increased TNFα production by these cells and other PBMCs likely increase the number of inflammatory cells seen in DLE skin relative to other subsets of cutaneous lupus erythematosus and DM. These results provide a possible biological explanation for the denser infiltrate seen in DLE relative to DM.
Cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) encompasses several different forms including acute, subacute, and chronic manifestations that may or may not occur in the setting of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a well-known exacerbating factor for CLE, with photosensitivity comprising one of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) diagnostic criteria for SLE. However, discerning true photosensitivity in this population is difficult due to the broad language utilized by the ACR and the delayed-onset nature of photosensitive lupus lesions. Photoprovocation testing provides a more objective method to measure photosensitivity, but photoprovocation trials demonstrate significantly varying results due to protocol variations. Despite UVR’s deleterious effect on lupus patients, UVA-1 may have therapeutic benefits as shown by some observations on murine and human lupus subjects. Accurately discerning photosensitivity has diagnostic implications for SLE and provides motivation for greater patient adherence to photoprotective measures.
cutaneous lupus erythematosus; ultraviolet radiation; photosensitivity; phototesting
Tumid lupus erythematosus is a rare variant of chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus that is characterized clinically by smooth, nonscarring, pink to violaceous papules or plaques without evidence of surface change. Histopathologic features include superficial and deep lymphocytic infiltration in a perivascular and periadnexal distribution, with dermal interstitial mucin deposition and focal or absent dermoepidermal junction involvement. These clinical and histopathologic features can be challenging to differentiate from other cutaneous diseases. This is particularly true because patients with tumid lupus erythematosus usually do not have other manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus or cutaneous lupus erythematosus. We present two cases of tumid lupus erythematosus, one associated with concomitant systemic lupus erythematosus and the other occurring concurrently with discoid lupus erythematosus. Furthermore, we demonstrate the rare occurrence of a patient with tumid LE occurring below the waist at a photoprotected site.
tumid lupus erythematosus; systemic lupus erythematosus; discoid lupus erythematosus; chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus
The occurrence of systemic lupus erythematosus has been only rarely reported in patients with sickle-cell disease.
We describe the case of a 23-year-old North-African woman with sickle-cell disease and systemic lupus erythematosus, and discuss the pointers to the diagnosis of this combination of conditions and also present a review of literature. The diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus was delayed because our patient’s symptoms were initially attributed to sickle-cell disease.
Physicians should be alerted to the possible association of sickle-cell disease and systemic lupus erythematosus so as not to delay correct diagnosis and initiation of appropriate treatment.
Sickle-cell disease; systemic lupus erythematosus
We report the first case of Cremophor EL-induced cutaneous lupus erythematosus-like reaction in a 40-year-old female undergoing treatment for breast cancer. There have been four reported cases of paclitaxel- and four cases of docetaxel-induced cutaneous lupus reactions in the published literature [Dasanu and Alexandrescu: South Med J 2008;101:1161–1162; Adachi and Horikawa: J Dermatol 2007;34:473–476; Lortholary et al: Presse Med 2007;36:1207–1208; Chen et al: J Rheumatol 2004;31:818–820]. Our patient developed findings of a cutaneous lupus-like reaction with administration of paclitaxel which was subsequently discontinued. She was re-challenged with albumin-bound paclitaxel which has no Cremophor EL compound in its formulation. This administration of albumin-bound paclitaxel did not induce further reaction. She did not develop a cutaneous lupus erythematosus-like reaction with three other subsequent administrations of albumin-bound paclitaxel. The diagnosis of lupus-like reaction in our patient was made based on the development of a malar butterfly rash sparing the nasolabial folds, the appearance of this rash in context of recently receiving treatments with paclitaxel, resolution of the rash after discontinuing the paclitaxel, and the presence of autoimmune antibodies in the patient's serum which resolved with discontinuation of the paclitaxel. This is the first case demonstrating that the cause of the cutaneous lupus erythematosus-like reaction is not likely due to the taxane component of paclitaxel but the chemical composition of Cremophor EL. If the chemotherapeutic agent was causing the reaction then the same reaction should be seen by albumin-bound paclitaxel. We propose that previously reported lupus reactions may actually be due to Cremophor EL, which consists of polyoxyethylated castor oil, and not the chemotherapeutic agent itself.
Cremophor EL; Cutaneous lupus erythematosus; Taxol; Paclitaxel
Propylthiouracil and methimazole are frequently used in the management of hyperthyroidism. Two patients in whom adverse immunologic effects other than isolated agranulocytosis developed during treatment with propylthiouracil are described. A review of the literature revealed 53 similar cases over a 35-year period. Rash, fever, arthralgias and granulocytopenia were the most common manifestations. Vasculitis, particularly with cutaneous manifestations, occurs and may be fatal. The clinical evidence suggests that an immunologic mechanism is involved. A number of different autoantibodies were reported, but antinuclear antibodies were infrequent, and none of the cases met the criteria for a diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus. Thus, the reactions do not represent a true drug-induced lupus syndrome. Current hypotheses and experimental data regarding the cause of the reactions are reviewed. No specific clinical subgroup at high risk can be identified, and manifestations may occur at any dosage and at any time during therapy. Cross-reactivity between the two antithyroid drugs can be expected. Except for minor symptoms (e.g., mild arthralgias or transient rash), such reactions are an indication for withdrawal of the drug and the use of alternative methods to control the hyperthyroidism. In rare cases of severe vasculitis a short course of high-dose glucocorticoid therapy may be helpful.
Statins are known to have a number of cutaneous adverse effects including the induction of autoimmune diseases like systemic and subacute lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, lichen planus pemphigoides and the drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS). Statins have been also reported as a triggering factor of psoriasis. We report a case of psoriasis vulgaris that worsened three months after atorvastatin was introduced and improved after its discontinuance.
adverse events; atorvastatin; drug eruptions; psoriasis; statins
Blood rheology is one of the determinants of perfusion and might therefore have an impact on the thromboembolic complications of lupus erythematosus. This study aimed at defining the flow properties of blood in patients with various types of lupus erythematosus. Results for 51 patients were compared with those for 20 controls matched for sex. The patients were divided into subgroups--chronic discoid, subacute cutaneous, and systemic lupus erythematosus--according to their clinical or laboratory characteristics. Blood and plasma viscosity, packed cell volume, red cell aggregation, and red cell deformability were used as parameters of blood rheology. Blood and plasma viscosity and red cell aggregation were significantly different in patients compared with controls, indicating reduced blood fluidity in lupus erythematosus. There were no marked sex differences. The rheological effects were greater in those with systemic lupus erythematosus than in those with chronic discoid or subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus. The presence of a positive antinuclear antibody titre or methods of treatment (systemic steroids or retinoids) had no apparent effect on the parameters tested. It is suggested that a complex haemorheological deficit exists in lupus patients.
A 35-year-old female presented with scaly annular and pigmented lesions all over the body of 2 years duration. Her clinical features, histopathology, immunofluorescence findings and positive ANA and anti-Ro antibodies were suggestive of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus-lichen planus. We report this case because of its clinical rarity.
Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus; lichen planus; overlap syndrome
Neonatal lupus erythematosus (NLE) is an autoimmune disease that is associated with transplacental passage of maternal autoantibodies that are reactive to SSA/Ro and SSB/La antigens. Cardiac involvement, hematologic abnormality and hepatic disease may occur in the infants suffering with NLE, in addition to the characteristic skin lesions. We report here on a case of NLE in a 4-week-old female infant who was born to an asymptomatic mother, and the baby displayed the characteristic clinical and histological features of cutaneous NLE with transient anemia and hepatitis. Both the infant and mother were positive for anti-SSA/Ro and anti-SSB/La. There have been 18 case reports of NLE in the Korean literature, including 7 case reports in the dermatological field. We describe herein another case of NLE that showed transient anemia and hepatitis, and we also review the case reports of NLE in the Korean literature.
Anemia; Anti-SSA/Ro; Anti-SSB/La; Hepatitis; Neonatal lupus erythematosus
Neonatal lupus is a rare disease caused by the transplacental transfer of maternal
autoantibodies to the foetus, characterized by transient clinical manifestations such
as cutaneous, haematological, and hepatobiliary events or permanent such as
congenital heart block. The typical cutaneous manifestations include erythematous,
scaly, annular or arched lesions on the face, with slight central atrophy and
photosensitivy, clinically and histologically similar to subacute cutaneous lupus.
However, in some cases, the lesions may resemble those in cutis marmorata
telangiectatica congenita, although this phenomenon is rare and only eight such cases
have been reported to date. We report a case of cutaneous neonatal lupus with
atypical lesions on the limbs, which had a reddish-purple marbled appearance,
resembling the lesions in cutis marmorata telangiectatica congenita.
Antibodies; Autoantibodies; Clinical diagnosis; Congenital, hereditary, and neonatal diseases and abnormalities; Diagnosis, differential; Lupus erythematosus, systemic
Severe mitral valve regurgitation due to systemic lupus erythematosus is a rare cause of valvular heart disease, necessitating valve surgery. Currently, there are 36 case reports in the world medical literature of mitral valve replacement or repair in patients who have lupus. The current trend in mitral valve surgery is toward anatomic valve repair. In patients who have systemic lupus erythematosus, however, valve repair often leads to repeat surgery and valve replacement. We report the cases of 5 patients with lupus and severe mitral valve regurgitation who underwent mitral valve surgery. In 3 of these patients, replacement with a mechanical prosthetic mitral valve was performed with good long-term results. In the other 2 patients, mitral valve repair was performed, but only 1 of the repairs was successful. The 2nd patient required subsequent replacement with a mechanical valve.
To our knowledge, this report of 5 patients is the largest series of mitral valve surgery in patients with lupus. These results, along with a review of the literature, suggest the superiority of mechanical prosthetic valve replacement to repair in patients who have systemic lupus erythematosus.
Endocarditis/complications; heart valve diseases/complications; heart valve prosthesis; heart valves/transplantation; lupus erythematosus, systemic/complications; mitral valve insufficiency/pathology/surgery; mitral valve/transplantation
The monoclonal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor antibody bevacizumab is increasingly used in the treatment of several malignant tumors. The usual side effects of this drug are hypertension and proteinuria. Paclitaxel is widely used in the treatment of breast cancer and head and neck carcinomas. Neither of these two drugs typically causes skin disorders. Paclitaxel-related cutaneous lupus erythematosus has been described before, but in earlier cases patients had a history of autoimmune disease.
We report a case of a 65-year-old Caucasian woman who presented with cutaneous lupus erythematosus after receiving paclitaxel-bevacizumab combination treatment as first-line therapy for metastatic breast cancer. Her cutaneous symptoms and increased serum anti-SSA and anti-SSB antibodies disappeared shortly after the discontinuation of therapy.
We conclude that cutaneous lupus erythematosus can also be seen in patients without earlier anamnesis of autoimmune disorders and that, furthermore, bevacizumab might cause atypical cutaneous side effects.
Drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE) is a lupus-like syndrome temporally related to continuous drug exposure which resolves upon drug discontinuation. There are currently no standard diagnostic criteria for DILE. Findings include skin manifestations, arthritis, serositis, anti-nuclear and anti-histone antibodies positivity. Similarly to idiopathic lupus erythematosus, DILE can be divided into systemic (SLE), subacute cutaneous (SCLE) and chronic cutaneous lupus (CCLE). Systemic DILE presents as a milder version of idiopathic SLE, and the drugs most frequently implicated are hydralazine, procainamide and quinidine. Anti-TNFα therapies are the latest class of medications found to be associated, although rarely, with a “lupus-like” syndrome, which is however clinically distinct from classical DILE. Drug-induced SCLE is the most common form of DILE. It is very similar to idiopathic SCLE in terms of clinical and serologic characteristics. The most commonly implicated drugs are antihypertensive drugs and terbinafine, but in recent years also proton pump inhibitors and chemotherapeutic agents have been associated. Drug-induced CCLE is very rare and usually caused by fluorouracil agents and NSAIDS, but some cases have induced by pantoprazole and anti-TNFα agents.
drug reactions; lupus erythematosus; drug-induced lupus erythematosus
Hemodynamically significant lupus valvulitis, requiring valve replacement, is rare: 21 cases have been reported so far in the literature, and only 2 of these have involved double valve replacement. We describe an additional case of double valve replacement in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus. The histopathologic and clinical features of this case suggest that valvular involvement resulted from both acute and chronic disease processes. Medical success in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, especially that achieved through prolonged or high-dose steroid therapy, may cause chronic valvular disease to become a more common surgical problem. A review of the literature supports this contention. (Texas Heart Institute Journal 1990;17:56-60)
Lupus erythematosus, systemic; heart valve disease; heart valve prosthesis; endocarditis; bioprosthesis
Benign gastro-colic fistula is a rare occurrence in modern surgery due to the progress in medical management of gastric ulcer disease. Here we report the first case of benign gastro-colic fistula occurring whilst on proton-pump inhibitor therapy. This is a case study of benign gastro-colic fistula and review of the available literature in regards to etiology, diagnosis, management and prognosis.
An 84-year-old woman of Caucasian background presented with 12 months of worsening abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss on a background of known gastric ulcer disease.
The leading cause of gastro-colic fistulae has changed from benign to malignant due to improved medical management of gastric ulcer disease. The rarity and non-specific symptoms of gastro-colic fistula make the diagnosis difficult and it is best made by barium enema; however, computed tomography has not been formally evaluated. Surgical management with en bloc resection of the fistula tract is the preferred treatment. Benign gastro-colic fistulae are becoming exceedingly rare in the context of modern medical management of gastric ulcer disease. Surgical management is the gold standard for both benign and malignant disease.