What are the signs and symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in adults?

Updated: Aug 04, 2021
  • Author: Christie M Bartels, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

In adults, Raynaud pleuritis and sicca are twice as common as in children and adolescents. [1]

The classic presentation of a triad of fever, joint pain, and rash in a woman of childbearing age should prompt investigation into the diagnosis of SLE. [2, 3]

Patients may present with any of the following manifestations [4] :

  • Constitutional (eg, fatigue, fever, arthralgia, weight changes)
  • Musculoskeletal (eg, arthralgia, arthropathy, myalgia, frank arthritis, avascular necrosis)
  • Dermatologic (eg, malar rash, photosensitivity, discoid lupus)
  • Renal (eg, acute or chronic renal failure, acute nephritic disease)
  • Neuropsychiatric (eg, seizure, psychosis)
  • Pulmonary (eg, pleurisy, pleural effusion, pneumonitis, pulmonary hypertension, interstitial lung disease)
  • Gastrointestinal (eg, nausea, dyspepsia, abdominal pain)
  • Cardiac (eg, pericarditis, myocarditis)
  • Hematologic (eg, cytopenias such as leukopenia, lymphopenia, anemia, or thrombocytopenia)

In patients with suggestive clinical findings, a family history of autoimmune disease should raise further suspicion of SLE.

See Presentation for more detail.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!