lupus (lōō´pəs), noninfectious chronic disease in which antibodies in an individual's immune system attack the body's own substances. In lupus, known medically as lupus erythematosus, antibodies are produced against the individual's own cells, causing tissue inflammation and cell damage. Because the vascular and connective tissue of any body organ may be affected, various symptoms may result. Generalized symptoms include fever, weakness, weight loss, anemia, enlargement of the spleen, and a characteristic butterfly-shaped skin rash on the face. Heart, joint, and kidney disease are common (see nephritis). It is believed that the disease may be triggered by certain drugs or foreign proteins, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, or extreme stress. The disease, which may range from mild to fatal, occurs commonly in young women. It is treated with immunosuppressive drugs and steroids. See immunity; autoimmune disease.

See R. G. Lahita and R. H. Phillips, Lupus: Everything You Need to Know (1998).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Lupus: Selected full-text books and articles

What Is Lupus? Manila Bulletin, January 16, 2018
The Lupus Book: A Guide for Patients and Their Families By Daniel J. Wallace Oxford University Press, 2005
Encyclopedia of Family Health By David B. Jacoby; Robert M. Youngson Marshall Cavendish, vol.8, 2005 (3rd edition)
Librarian's tip: "Lupus" begins on p. 1105
Battling Lupus By Meadows, Michelle FDA Consumer, Vol. 39, No. 4, July-August 2005
Living with Lupus By Whitaker, Charles Ebony, Vol. 56, No. 9, July 2001
Addressing Healthcare Disparities in Autoimmune Disease: A Focus on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in the USA By Moncrieffe, Halima; Tillery, Dwight Journal of Pan African Studies, Vol. 7, No. 9, April 2015
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