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Eur J Dermatol. 1998 Jan-Feb;8(1):4-7.

The pathophysiology of lupus erythematosus.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, University Hospital, de Pintelaan 185, B 9000 Gent, Belgium.


Systemic lupus erythematosus disseminatus in addition to the more restricted, lupus-like syndromes, is the consequence of an attack by the immune system on the cellular and nuclear structures of the body. These disorders are also frequently associated with disturbances of the coagulation cascade. In this review paper, the factors that provoke or enhance these disturbances are considered, as well as the way by which this provocative effect is exerted. An intermutual relation between various elements is described, whereby congenital factors (heredity, race) and non-congenital factors (sex hormones, pregnancy, environment, ultraviolet light, drugs, infection) play a role. These factors induce the activation cascade of the disease, via two different axes: on the one hand modifications in the DNA structure, on the other immune stimulation. This eventually results in tissue damage.

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