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Imaging: Seeing Inside An Autoimmune Condition

  • Eureka moment: 2018 was a big year for people living with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Multiple studies showed a way forward to more accurately define disease sub-types in SLE, including the use of imaging.
  • Why it matters: SLE is hard to diagnose. The average time and route to diagnosis is six years and four doctors. New imaging techniques could shorten that journey by showing clinicians how to measure what matters.
  • How it’s being used now: Ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging are showing how the disease impacts a person’s joints, which affects up to 95% of patients with SLE. Around half have fibromyalgia, causing pain all over the body.
  • What’s next: More studies are underway to look at the different molecular pathways involved in early disease progression.
  • To dig deeper: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30296972