History of Lupus

History of lupus includes three periods over which this condition has been identified, described and investigated. The classical period was the initial period in which this cutaneous disorder was described. During the neoclassical period the manifestation of lupus were described and this followed with the discovery of LE cells in the modern period.

The history of lupus reflects the fact that during the classical period the term lupus was derived and this was followed with clinical description of cutaneous lesions seen in lupus vulgaris, discoid lupus and lupus profundus. Likewise the photosensitivity of the butterfly or malar rash was also determined in this period.

The term lupus was initially coined by a physician Rogerius in the thirteenth century and it was used to explain facial lesions that were erosive in nature and that were reminiscent of the bite of a wolf. The classical description of the dermatological features of this condition was given by Thomas Bateman who was a student. Description of the lesions of discoid lupus was given by Cazenave in the year 1833. He gave the description as a part of the term erythema centrifugum and the butterfly distribution which was a part of the facial rash was described by von Hebra.

In the neoclassical period during the history of lupus Kaposi gave the description of systemic nature of this condition. Kaposi also indicated towards two kinds of lupus erythematosus which included disseminated form and discoid form. He also gave some signs of disseminated form of lupus which included arthritis, fever, anemia, weight loss, subcutaneous nodules, lymphadenopathy and involvement of central nervous system.

The systemic lupus was determined in the history of lupus in 1904 by Jadassohn and Osler. In the modern period the LE cell was discovered in the year 1948 by Hargraves along with other colleagues. With this discovery the present era was ushered in and this allowed for immunology to be applied in the lupus erythematosus study. In the 1950s two immunologic markers that were related with lupus were identified.

In the modern period of the history of lupus animal model of the lupus has been developed and this has also been followed with an identification of the role that genetic predisposition has to play in the development of this condition. Leonhardt identified familial occurrence of the systemic lupus in 1954. It is also important to explain and review the development of lupus therapy.

History of lupus indicates that quinine was first identified as being useful in treatment of lupus in the year 1894. The treatment of this condition was revolutionized with the discovery of usefulness of cortisone and adrenocorticotrophic hormone which was discovered by Hench. Currently corticosteroids are used as the primary therapy in all patients suffering from systemic lupus. Anti malarial drugs are used to treat patients where joint and skin involvement is seen and immunosuppressive drugs may be used where life threatening manifestations of this condition are observed.

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