For the first time in nearly 50 years, a new medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating lupus, and other new medicines are becoming available.

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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, multisystem, autoimmune disease characterized by periods of increased disease activity caused by inflammation of blood vessels and connective tissue. The condition is much more than a positive antinuclear antibody (ANA); it is a disease that causes a great deal of morbidity, and patients can be ill at presentation and throughout their disease course.

Pediatric patients with SLE have a more severe clinical course in comparison with their adult counterparts. Patients typically present with rash, fever, and arthritis, although the presentation may be unpredictable. At the time of diagnosis, most patients will fulfill 4 of the 11 American College of Rheumatology criteria for the classification...

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