The immune system normally protects the body against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign materials. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (usually called, simply, lupus) is a chronic, autoimmune disease which causes inflammation in various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys. The immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues, then makes antibodies directed against itself. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms can be intermittent and can mimic other illnesses.
Nearly two million Americans have been diagnosed with lupus, making it more prevalent than AIDs, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, sickle-cell anemia, and cystic fibrosis combined. Although lupus can occur in either sex and at any age, lupus strikes adult women 10-15 times more frequently than adult men. Lupus is more prevalent in African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians. Although lupus ranges from mild to life-threatening and thousands of Americans die with lupus each year, the majority of cases can be controlled with proper treatment.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Third Edition has been updated from a very successful book previously offered from another publisher. Accepted as a classic reference in the area of SLE, the previous two editions cover the basic and clinical aspects of the disease. This Third Edition includes new chapters and expanded coverage of central nervous system disease and lupus, renal function, lupus and pregnancy, and experimental therapies. It presents comprehensive, current coverage of basic models of etiology and pathogenesis, and includes a complete catalog of autoantibodiesproduced, clinical manifestations, and therapeutic approaches.