SLE causes significant morbidity and mortality by multisystem organ involvement. Infections are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with SLE. Meticulous exclusion of infection is mandatory in patients with SLE, because infections may masquerade as exacerbation of underlying disease; and the immunosuppression used to treat severe forms of exacerbation of lupus can have catastrophic consequences in patients with infections. Corticosteroids are the first-line therapy for most noninfectious complications of SLE, with various adjuvant immunosuppressive agents such as cyclophosphamide being increasingly used in combination with plasmapheresis. Some recent series have shown an improved survival rate, but this improvement needs to be confirmed by further studies. Controlled trials comparing various therapeutic options are lacking, and optimal therapy has not been defined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine