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Ocular manifestations in systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. Sukhum Silpa-archa1,2,3,
  2. Joan J Lee1,2,
  3. C Stephen Foster1,2,4
  1. 1Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Ocular Immunology & Uveitis Foundation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Faculty of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Rajavithi Hospital, College of Medicine, Rangsit University, Bangkok, Thailand
  4. 4Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr C Stephen Foster, Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution, 355 Main Street, Five Cambridge Center, 8th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; sfoster{at}


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can involve many parts of the eye, including the eyelid, ocular adnexa, sclera, cornea, uvea, retina and optic nerve. Ocular manifestations of SLE are common and may lead to permanent blindness from the underlying disease or therapeutic side effects. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is the most common manifestation. However, vision loss may result from involvement of the retina, choroid and optic nerve. Ocular symptoms are correlated to systemic disease activity and can present as an initial manifestation of SLE. The established treatment includes prompt systemic corticosteroids, steroid-sparing immunosuppressive drugs and biological agents. Local ocular therapies are options with promising efficacy. The early recognition of disease and treatment provides reduction of visual morbidity and mortality.

  • Optic Nerve
  • Retina
  • Inflammation
  • Immunology
  • Choroid
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