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Lupus erythematosus

Mrs. Sanders has a history of intermittent pleuritic chest pain and joint pain for several years. No specific cause could be identified until recently, when blood tests indicates systemic lupus erythematosus. At the time, protein was found in the urine and an eyrthematous rash was apparent on her face.

QUESTIONS:

1. What are some possible reasons for the delay in diagnosis?
2. How did the blood tests confirm the diagnosis?
3. What is the rationale for signs and symptoms?
4. What is her prognosis?

Any help and ideas will be much appreciated. Thank you.

Solution Preview

Interesting scenario! Let's take a closer look at the four questions.

1. Mrs. Sanders has a history of intermittent pleuritic chest pain and joint pain for several years. No specific cause could be identified until recently, when blood tests indicate systemic lupus erythematosus. At the time, protein was found in the urine and an eyrthematous rash was apparent on her face. What are some possible reasons for the delay in diagnosis?

The cause of lupus is usually not known and the diagnosis is problematic for several reasons. It has symptoms similar to other diseases, symptoms that Mrs. Sanders was experiencing could be related to other conditions. For example, pleuritic chest pain can be related to many other diseases or conditions of the lungs and joint pain can be arthritis, for example. In fact, the number and variety of antibodies that can appear in lupus are greater than those in any other disorder. These
antibodies, which are the underlying physiologic problem in lupus, along with other unknown factors, determine which symptoms develop. This makes diagnosis of lupus difficult, as was the case for Mrs. Sanders. In fact, the levels of these antibodies may not always be proportional to the person's symptoms and sometimes these antibodies are not present in some people with lupus. For example, a blood test can detect antinuclear antibodies, which are present in almost all people who have lupus. However, these antibodies also occur in other diseases. Therefore, if antinuclear antibodies are detected, a test for antibodies to double-stranded DNA is also performed. A high level ...

Solution Summary

Based on the case scenario of systematic lupus erythematosus, this solution responds to these questions: 1. What are some possible reasons for the delay in diagnosis? 2. How did the blood tests confirm the diagnosis? 3. What is the rationale for signs and symptoms? 4. What is her prognosis? Supplemented with an overview of lupus erythematosus e.g. signs, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, etc.

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