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Dedicated to increasing awareness about
systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), disease activity and related organ damage

Challenges in Diagnosing SLE

More than 60% of patients with SLE report that they were initially misdiagnosed.1 In fact, accurate diagnosis may take years.1,2

There are several reasons for these challenges in diagnosing patients with SLE3:

  • Similarity and overlap between SLE symptoms and those of multiple other conditions.
  • Patients may present with different symptoms at different times.
  • SLE may co-present with other autoimmune diseases.
  • No single test is sufficient to establish a diagnosis of SLE.

In addition, 52% of patients report that they minimize their symptoms when talking to physicians—72% of physicians are unaware that patients tend to underreport their symptoms.4,*

* Data from the 2011 National Burden of Lupus survey was funded and developed by GSK. This survey included 957 people in the lupus community — 502 people who reported being diagnosed with SLE, 204 supporters (family members or friends) of people with lupus and 251 rheumatologists.

Diagnosing SLE in Denise took 2 years. View her case study now. Case study is hypothetical.

Explore the Role of Unconscious Bias

Visit The Lupus Initiative for additional resources, including a video series examining how unconscious bias impacts the diagnosis and treatment of lupus.

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patient denise

For Denise and her healthcare providers, arriving at a diagnosis of SLE took 2 years. Unfortunately, their story is not unusual.

Case study is hypothetical.

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Exploring Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

This slide deck discusses the path to diagnosis of SLE, pathogenesis of the disease, impact on patients, and how to best support patients.

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What Next?

Patient case studies can be a useful tool for understanding the many manifestations of SLE.

Learn more about patient case studies now

1. Lupus Foundation of America. UNVEIL Survey Fact Sheet.
%20Survey%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf. Accessed February 14, 2017. 2. Alarcón GS, McGwin G Jr, Roseman JM, et al. Systemic lupus erythematosus in three ethnic groups. XIX. Natural history of the accrual of the American College of Rheumatology criteria prior to the occurrence of criteria diagnosis. Arthritis Rheum. 2004;51(4):609-615. Accessed February 14, 2017. 3. Lupus Research Institute. Lupus diagnosis. Accessed February 14, 2017. 4. Lupus: A Survey Among SLE Patients, Physicians, and Supporters. New York, NY: GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications; October 2011.