Chronic Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus

Only a few patients with chronic CCLE without evidence of systemic involvement will have autoantibodies (Prystowsky et al. 1975). Of patients with CCLE, 30%-40% may exhibit low titers of ANA. However, fewer than 5% of patients with CCLE will have the higher levels of ANA that are seen in patients with severe SLE. Antibodies to single-stranded DNA are fairly common in CCLE, whereas antibodies to ds-DNA are uncommon (Callen et al. 1985). Patients whose disease course is dominated by discoid LE (DLE) lesions and who have evidence of mild SLE and overlapping connective tissue disease occasionally have precipitating antibodies toU1RNP (Callen 1982).Sometimes precipitating antibodies to Ro/SSA are seen in CCLE (Lee et al. 1994), and less frequently precipitating La/SSB and Sm antibodies (Provost and Ratrie 1990). Less than 10% of patients with CCLE have IgG isotype cardiolipin antibodies (Mayou et al. 1988).

A small percentage of patients with CCLE will have a false-positive serologic test for syphilis (VDRL), positive rheumatoid factor, slight depression of serum complement levels, modest elevations in gamma globulin levels, or modest leukopenia.

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