Useful websites when treating SLE

Dr Keith Barnard looks at websites linked to this week's Clinical Review.

Website of the week

The DermAtlas site goes from strength to strength in the quality and quantity of the images and the amount of clinical information. Just browsing the pictures of this condition reminds us of its protean nature, and by reading the captions you automatically extend your knowledge.

The image shown is a remarkable example of the facial manifestations, in this case in a very young child.

Why go there: vast array of images
Downside: none
Information from: DermAtlas
Address: Please click here

An overview
This article is quite hard work, but has the distinct advantage of being up-to-date and has some interesting facts.

The incidence of SLE in northern Europe is higher than in some areas of the world at 40 cases per 100,000. Infection and nephritis are causes of mortality at all stages, but late deaths are mostly due to atherosclerosis.

Disease activity may be reduced after dialysis or transplantation. Diagnosis takes an average of five years.

Why go there: plenty of detail.
Downside: no illustrations.
Information from: e-Medicine.
Address: www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic564.htm

Radiology in Lupus
Although designed for radiologists, a visit to this site will only take a couple of minutes.

There is not much in the way of clinical detail, and at first glance the images don't look too impressive. But click on them, and you can enlarge them not once, but twice.

There are plain X-rays, arteriograms, and CT scans, and the detail in some of them is remarkable. Links lead to renal, bone and hepatic complications.

See if you can find the arteriogram showing multiple aneurysms in the hepatic arteries.

Why go there: good images.
Downside: not GP orientated.
Information from: Medical College of Wisconsin.
Address: http://chorus.rad.mcw.edu/doc/00855.html

For patients

This claims to be the only UK charity dealing with SLE.

I can't say I'm enamoured with the site layout or design.

But much of the content is good, and I did like the lupus schematic with a diagram showing potentially affected organs - although the negative side of this is that patients may think they will receive the whole lot.

And the 'Butterfly and the Wolf' is a nice touch.

Why go there: best available for patients.
Downside: poor site design.
Information from: Lupus UK.
Address: www.lupusuk.org.uk/index.asp

Dr Barnard is a former GP in Fareham, Hampshire.

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