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Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2009 Aug;23(4):495-506. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2009.04.003.

Lupus arthritis.

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Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, 1000 Veteran Ave Rm 32-59, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Arthritis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is one of the most common disease manifestations. Nearly all joints can be affected by SLE, but hand and knee involvement are the most typical. Periarticular structures can be inflamed leading to tendonitis, tenosynovitis and tendon rupture. Avascular necrosis (AVN) also occurs causing joint pain and disability, typically in larger joints such as the hip and knee. This article addresses the clinical features of arthritis in lupus and an approach to the differential diagnosis. Treatment strategies include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, anti-malarials and a variety of immunosuppressive medications.

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