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Prevalence, clinical manifestations, and morbidity vary significantly between the developing and industrialized worlds.
While SLE is more common in people of African and Asian descent, thrombotic complications are more common in Caucasian patients .
Autoantibodies against double-stranded DNA were first isolated from kidney specimens in patients with lupus nephritis in 1967 .
Other autoantibodies that have been implicated in disease include anti-Ro, La, Sm, nucleosome, NMDA receptor, phospholipid, and α-actinin.
The highest prevalence has been reported in Italy, Spain, Martinique, and the UK Afro-Caribbean population .
The median age of onset is between the late teens and early 40s with a 9 times higher incidence in women compared to men.
Section of Vitreoretinal Disease and Surgery, Department of Ophthalmology, Emory Eye Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, 30322 GA, USAReceived ; Accepted Academic Editor: Hiroshi Okamoto Copyright © 2012 Neal V. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The source of autoantigens that trigger the formation of the aforementioned antibodies is thought to arise from apoptotic cells.
Multiple “steroid-sparing” treatment options exist with the most recently studied being biologic agents.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, autoimmune, connective tissue disorder affecting multiple organ systems often with a relapsing and remitting clinical course.
SLE can affect the periorbita, ocular adnexa, eye, and optic nerve.
The most common association is keratoconjunctivitis sicca, while the most visually devastating sequelae occur secondary to optic nerve involvement and retinal vaso-occlusion.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment of eye disease is paramount as they are often associated with high levels of systemic inflammation and end-organ damage.