Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes a wide range of mild to life-threatening conditions that require hospitalization and critical care. The morbidity and mortality of systemic lupus erythematosus are associated with the organ system damage caused by intermittent or chronic disease activity and with the complications of long-term and toxic immunosuppressant medication regimens. This article reviews the epidemiologic, clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic information essential for critical care clinicians who provide care to patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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