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Lupus treatment has improved over the years

The most common transplant operations in the UK are kidney transplants. Survival rates following a kidney transplant may be as long as 30 years. One woman waited two months for a correct diagnosis of her systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus mostly attacks women aged 15 to 45 and usually starts with a fever. The fever is followed by extreme fatigue and symptoms such as headaches, epilepsy and personality changes may develop infrequently. The characteristic sign of the disease is a butterfly shaped face rash and other exposed skin areas. The rash is often misdiagnosed as sunburn and the range of possible symptoms make the condition very difficult to diagnose. 90% of cases of lupus involve arthritis in the joints and the pain may be severe with a sudden onset. Children with the condition may also present with lymph gland enlargement as an early symptom. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include pericarditis, heart problems, pleurisy and kidney problems that can ultimately lead to kidney failure. Lupus treatment has improved dramatically over the years and immuno-suppressant drugs have been invaluable in controlling the condition as well as in preventing rejection following organ transplants. CellCept is a popular immuno-suppressant used after organ transplants as it can be used in smaller doses and does not carry an associated risk of heart problems.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Times Online

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About: Lupus treatment has improved over the years

Date: 27 January 2005

Source: Times Online

Author: Thomas Stuttaford

URL: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8123-1457130,00.html

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