Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can be diagnosed by specific clinical criteria.




malar rash

fixed erythema, flat or raised, over the malar eminences

discoid rash

erythematous raised patches with adherent keratotic scaling and follicular plugging; atrophic scarring may occur



oral ulcers

includes oral and nasopharyngeal. observed by physician


nonerosive arthritis involving 2 or more peripheral joints, characterized by tenderness, swelling or effusion


pleuritis or pericarditis, or evidence of pericardial effusion

renal disorder

proteinuria (> 0.5 g/d, or > 3+) or cellular casts

neurologic disorder

seizures without other cause or psychosis without other cause

hematologic disorder

hemolytic anemia, leukopenia (< 4,000 per µL), lymphopenia (< 1,500 per µL) or thrombocytopenia (< 100,000 per µL), in the absence of a causative drug

immunologic disorder

positive LE cell preparation, anti-ds DNA antibody, anti-Sm antibodies, false positive VDRL

antinuclear antibodies

abnormal ANA titer at any point of time in the absence of drugs known to induce ANA



• If four or more criteria are present at any time during the course of the disease, then a diagnosis of SLE can be made.



• The specificity is 98% and sensitivity 97%.

To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.