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Types of Lupus

There are many types of lupus. Some of these are listed below.

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence is difficult to establish due to vague signs and symptoms and onset. According to the National Resource Center on Lupus, more than 16,000 new cases of SLE are reported in the U.S. each year, and at least 1.5 million Americans are currently living with lupus. Ninety percent of newly diagnosed patients are women of child-bearing age. It affects many parts of the body (systemic).
  • Discoid lupus. Characterized by a chronic skin rash, such as on the face or scalp; about 15% to 20% of people with this condition will progress to SLE.
  • Subacute cutaneous lupus. Associated with skin lesions on parts of the body that are exposed to sunlight.
  • Drug-induced lupus. A form of lupus that can be caused by certain medications, such as some anti-seizure, high blood pressure, and anti-thyroid medications. The most common medications known to cause drug-induced lupus are the antibiotic isoniazid (used to treat and prevent tuberculosis), hydralazine (used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure), and procainamide (used to treat abnormal heart rhythms). Symptoms tend to occur after taking the medication for several months and usually resolve once the medication is stopped.
  • Neonatal lupus. A rare form of lupus that affects newborns and that is characterized by a skin rash, liver problems, and low blood counts at birth. These usually resolve over several months. Newborns who have neonatal lupus may be born to women who have SLE, Sjögren syndrome, or no particular disease, but it is thought that it may be triggered in part by certain autoantibodies in the mother's blood (anti-SSA and anti-SSB), which cross the placenta into the fetus's/infant's bloodstream and can persist for several months. Women known to have these autoantibodies may be monitored more closely during their pregnancy.

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