Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune
SLE is characterized by the production of unusual
antibodies in the blood.
SLE is eight times more common in women than
The cause(s) of SLE
is (are) unknown, however,
heredity, viruses, ultraviolet light, and drugs all may play some
Up to 10% of people with lupus isolated to
the skin will develop the systemic form of lupus (SLE).
Eleven criteria help doctors to
Treatment of SLE is directed toward decreasing
inflammation and/or the level of autoimmune activity.
People with SLE can prevent "flares" of disease by avoiding sun exposure, not abruptly discontinuing
medications, and monitoring their condition with their doctor.
What is systemic lupus erythematosus? What are the types of lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease characterized by acute and chronic
inflammation of various tissues of the body. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses
that occur when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system. The
immune system is a complex system within the body that is designed to fight
infectious agents, such as bacteria and other foreign microbes. One of the ways
that the immune system fights infections is by producing antibodies that bind to
the microbes. People with lupus produce abnormal antibodies in their blood
that target tissues within their own body rather than foreign infectious agents. These antibodies are referred to as autoantibodies.
Because the antibodies and accompanying cells of inflammation can affect tissues
anywhere in the body, lupus has the potential to affect a variety of areas.
Sometimes lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints,
and/or nervous system. When only the skin is involved by rash, the condition is called
lupus dermatitis or cutaneous lupus erythematosus. A form of lupus dermatitis
that can be isolated to the skin, without internal disease, is called discoid
lupus. When internal organs are involved, the condition is referred to as
systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Both discoid lupus and systemic lupus are more
common in women than men (about eight times more common). The disease can affect
all ages but most commonly begins from 20-45 years of age. Statistics
demonstrate that lupus is somewhat more frequent in African Americans and people
of Chinese and Japanese descent.