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Editorial Review
August 2000

Questions Answered and a $1 Million Question Raised Concerning Lupus Erythematosus TumidusIs Routine Laboratory Surveillance Testing During Treatment With Hydroxychloroquine for Skin Disease Really Necessary?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, The University of Iowa College of Medicine/The University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City.

Arch Dermatol. 2000;136(8):1044-1049. doi:10.1001/archderm.136.8.1044

After a professional lifetime of studying the cutaneous manifestations of lupus erythematosus (LE), I have found LE tumidus (LET) (also referred to, perhaps incorrectly, as lupus tumidus and tumid LE by modern dermatologists) to be the most enigmatic form of cutaneous LE (CLE). The clinical and pathogenetic significance of LET has until very recently been ignored completely in the medical literature published in English. While preparing comprehensive reviews of LE-specific skin disease in the past,1 virtually no published literature on this form of CLE in English could be found in the MEDLINE database. When performing a text word search of the term lupus tumidus in MEDLINE, one comes up as often with case descriptions of cutaneous tuberculosis2 as CLE. However, Kuhn and coworkers3 from the Department of Dermatology at Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, Germany, have begun to illuminate the nature and significance of this form of CLE for their English-only colleagues with their presentation of a retrospective analysis of 40 patients with LET seen in their department from 1984 through 1998 that appears in this issue of the ARCHIVES.

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