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Presse Med. 2000 Jul 1;29(23):1311-6.

[Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus].

[Article in French]

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Service de Dermatologie, Hôpital du Haut-Lévêque, Pessac.


SKIN LESIONS: The concept that patients with subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) skin lesions represent a distinct lupus erythematosus subset was proposed in 1979 by Sontheimer and supported by many studies. Skin lesions are papulo-squamous, psoriasiform or annular. Photosensitivity is a common complaint and photo-reproduction is significantly frequent in these patients. They persist for weeks or months and typically heal without atrophy or scarring with hyperpigmentation or more often hypopigmentation.


Systemic disease is generally quite mild and the prognostic is usually favourable. High-titer, precipitating antibodies to Ro/SSA and HLA DR2 and/or HLA DR3 are strongly associated with SCLE. In some observations, the relation-ship between SCLE and drugs has been recognized.


Antimalarial agents are first line systemic treatment. Other therapies, including Thalidomide are helpful for patients with resistant disease. The pathomechanisms of photosensitive SCLE involved antigens Ro/SSA, epidermal and dermal cytokines, intercellular adhesion molecules, mononuclear cells.

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