Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)

SLE is a systemic autoimmune disease. Under normal conditions, the immune system produces proteins (antibodies) to protect us from bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances (what we call antigens). In autoimmune diseases like SLE, the immune system gets "confused" and cannot distinguish between foreign particles and our own cells, so it produces antibodies against our own body, which causes inflammation and damage to different organs.

It being a systemic disease means that it can affect most parts/organs of our body: skin, joints, kidney, lungs, etc.  It is a chronic disease that has flares or flare-ups, meaning that it goes through periods where it is more active (flare-ups) and periods of inactivity.

Antiphospholipid syndrome is characterized by the appearance of thrombosis (blood clots) in any area of the body, complications during pregnancy (especially recurring miscarriages and premature births), and the presence of antibodies against phospholipids. Half of the cases of APS are associated with SLE.

Authorship: Helena Borrell Paños
Creation date: 14.03.2022, 08:55
Modification date: 14.03.2022, 12:48
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