Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


Other Known AliasesLupus

DefinitionAutoimmune disease that can effect the entire system…most commonly skin, joints, and constitutional.

Clinical Significance For this eponym, there is no clinical significance.  Just a cool fact I wanted to bring up….

History – You may have been wondering (or maybe not) where the “lupus” part of this disease comes from.  Having studied Latin in high school all four years, this perplexed me in PA school because “lupus” is Greek for wolf.  So why did early physicians decide on throwing “wolf” into the disease title?

Well (since you asked), it has been attributed to the 13th century Rogerius (who practiced with his friend, Stevius) who thought the characteristic erosive, dermatologic skin findings were similar to the effects of a wolf bite.


For those fellow PotterHeads out there, now you know the foreshadowing of (my favorite character) Remus LUPIN in the series.

Image result for lupin potter


  1. Firkin BG and Whitwirth JA.  Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed.  New York, NY; Parthenon Publishing Group. 1996.
  2. Bartolucci S, Forbis P.  Stedman’s Medical Eponyms.  2nd ed.  Baltimore, MD; LWW.  2005.
  3. Yee AJ, Pfiffner P. (2012).  Medical Eponyms (Version 1.4.2) [Mobile Application Software].  Retrieved http://itunes.apple.com.
  4. Whonamedit – dictionary of medical eponyms. http://www.whonamedit.com
  5. Blotzer JW. Systemic lupus erythematosus I: historical aspects. Maryland State Medical Journal. 1983; 32(6):439-41. [pubmed]
  6. Bertino LS, Lu LC. The bite of a wolf: systemic lupus erythematosus. Rehabilitation nursing : the official journal of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. 1993; 18(3):173-8. [pubmed]

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