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Subacute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus:  A Cutaneous Marker for a Distinct Lupus Erythematosus Subset

Richard D. Sontheimer, MD; Jesse R. Thomas; James N. Gilliam, MD
Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(12):1409-1415. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010120007006.
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We have characterized the clinical and laboratory features of 27 patients who had in common a recurring, superficial, nonscarring type of cutaneous lupus erythematosus (LE) that occurred in a characteristic distribution (subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus [SCLE]). This clinically distinct form of cutaneous LE has not previously been analyzed as a separate entity and thus, its clinical importance has not been fully appreciated. We found that these patients frequently had a mild systemic illness marked by musculoskeletal complaints and serologic abnormalities. Forty-eight percent had systemic LE by American Rheumatism Association criteria; however, none had serious CNS or renal disease. Thus, those with SCLE are a subset of patients with LE who generally have an illness intermediate in severity between discoid LE and severe systemic LE.

(Arch Dermatol 115:1409-1415, 1979)


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