Different Types of Lupus
Did you know that are different types of Lupus?
When people use the term “lupus,” they usually refer to systemic lupus erythematosus, or “SLE.” But there are other types of Lupus, although they are not as common as SLE. Read more about them all:
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE):
Systemic lupus is so-named because it affects many different organ systems in the body. It is marked by chronic inflammation, especially of the kidneys, joints, and skin. Cardiovascular and nervous systems can also be affected.
Lupus Limited to the Skin:
The term “chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus” refers to a specific form of lupus that is limited to the skin. This form of lupus can exist in people who do not have systemic lupus. However, five percent or more of the people with this form of lupus may develop SLE later in life. Three types of skin lupus exist: chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CCLE), also known as Discoid Lupus Erythematosus(DLE), subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE), and tumid lupus. A skin biopsy is usually obtained to diagnose skin lupus, and each form possesses its own characteristic lesions and pattern.
Drug-Induced Lupus Erythematosus:
Certain drugs can actually cause lupus-like symptoms in people who do not have SLE. However, this form of lupus is temporary and usually subsides within months of the time that the medication is stopped. In addition, many drugs that cause this form of lupus are actually losing favor among physicians. Medications known to induce lupus-like symptoms in some individuals include the blood pressure medications hydralazine and methyldopa, a heart medication called procainamide, and a drug called D-penicillamine, which is used in cases of metal poisoning. Other causes of drug-induced lupus include minocycline (used to treat acne) and anti-TNF (used to treat rheumatoid arthritis).
Neonatal Lupus Erythematosus:
A certain form of lupus known as neonatal lupus may affect the babies of women with certain autoantibodies, namely anti-Ro, anti-La, and anti-RNP. About 1 in 1000 perfectly healthy women possesses either anti-Ro or anti-La, and a mother who gives birth to a child with neonatal lupus may not have lupus herself. In fact, only about 40% of women bearing children with neonatal lupus actually have lupus, but lupus or Sjogren’s (dry eye) syndrome may occur later in life. Usually, neonatal lupus involves only the baby’s skin and subsides on its own, even without treatment. However, 1-2% of infants with neonatal lupus experience congenital heart block. This can be treated by the implantation of a pacemaker, and generally, these children go on with healthy lives. Yet, rare deaths can occur from congenital heart block, especially if major heart damage occurs in utero.
Lupus in Children:
Lupus that occurs in children affects the body in the same manner as adult lupus. However, boys are more likely to get childhood lupus than men are to get adult lupus, and usually, childhood lupus affects certain organs, such as the kidneys, to a greater degree. The incidence of kidney disease in childhood lupus is about 2-times greater than that of adult lupus. Childhood lupus generally requires more aggressive therapy than adult lupus, yet physicians must keep in mind the risks of the long-term use of certain medications (e.g. prednisone).