Differential Diagnosis of Lupus (SLE) 4.6/5 (5)

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Diseases caused by the immune system: a) Hereditary angioedema, b) Lupus (SLE), c) Urticarial vasculitis, d) Pemphigoid. Panelius J, Meri S - Front Med (Lausanne) (2015). CC BY 4.0

Differential diagnosis

A doctor who has experience with Lupus / SLE will usually make the correct diagnosis without any uncertainty. However, in special cases, diagnosis can be difficult. The suggestions below can then be considered.



Fever that does not respond to prednisolone 30mg / d is not typical of SLE

Other autoimmune disease

Breathing problem (Dyspnea)

Blood clots / thromboembolism

Abdominal pain / Abdominal symptoms

  • Pancreatitis
  •  Peritonitis
    • inflammatory
    • Infectious
  • Porphyria
  • Thrombosis of the intestinal arteries and organs (APL syndrome)
  • Intestinal and intestinal vasculitis
    • Polyarteritis nodosa
    • Behcet's disease
  • Ulcer duodeni / ventriculi, abscesses or other infections.

Acute arthritis


CNS: Cerebral lupus

Red cheeks


Mouth ulcers

Heart disease

  • Endocarditis
  • Heart attack. SLE women in 35-45's age have 50 x increased risk of myocardial infarction (Reference: Manzi S, 1997).
    • Prevention: Treat cholesterol more than 5,2. Stop smoking, More physical activity. Consider weight reduction. Active SLE treatment but avoid high prednisolone doses (more than 5mg / d) over time
  • Libman-Sack's endocarditis
  • Pericarditis of other reasons

Cancer (malignancies)

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