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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Jun;25(6):652-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03844.x. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Evaluation of disease activity and damage in different subtypes of cutaneous lupus erythematosus using the CLASI.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.



The Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus Disease Area and Severity Index (CLASI) is a scoring system for patients with cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) to assess disease activity and damage. Objective  The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the CLASI is a useful instrument which reflects the different subtypes of CLE comparably well in each parameter.


A total of 50 patients (42 female, 8 male) with different subtypes of CLE, including acute CLE (ACLE), subacute CLE (SCLE), chronic CLE (CCLE) and LE tumidus (LET), from the Departments of Dermatology, University of Düsseldorf, Germany, and Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, were evaluated using the CLASI at one time point.


The total CLASI activity score was significantly lower in patients with LET compared with ACLE (P<0.05) and CCLE (P<0.001), and the total CLASI damage score was significantly lower in patients with LET than with ACLE (P<0.05), SCLE (P<0.001) and CCLE (P<0.001). The erythema score and the scale/hypertrophy score were significantly lower in LET than in ACLE (P<0.05, both) and CCLE (P<0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). The dyspigmentation score was lowest in patients with LET, differing significantly from ACLE (P<0.05), SCLE (P<0.05) and CCLE (P<0.001). The scarring/atrophy/panniculitis score was significantly higher in patients with CCLE in contrast to SCLE and LET (P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively).


These data characterize the CLASI as an overall useful instrument to analyse disease activity and damage in CLE. However, the CLASI does not give an accurate assessment of all disease subtypes; therefore, a revision of the CLASI with critical analysis of all parameters is recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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