Part of the Orthopedic and Arthritis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus/Antiphospholipid Antibody Center provides referring physicians with options for comprehensive care delivered by a team of experts who work closely with them to provide advanced, coordinated treatment for their patients.

Expert Patient Care
Under the direction of Bonnie L. Bermas, MD, and co-director Peter H. Schur, MD, the Center is also staffed by Jonathan Coblyn, MD, Karen Costenbader, MD, MPH, and Patricia Fraser, MD. This team of lupus specialists collaborates closely with referring physicians, dermatologists, nephrologists, neurologists, pulmonologists, and psychiatrists to manage the myriad of symptoms and organ involvement that are often present in patients with this disease. Patients have access to the latest treatment options for lupus, including immunosuppression and targeted B-cell therapies.

Advancing the Understanding of SLE
Drs. Costenbader, Fraser, and clinical research colleagues Elizabeth Karlson, MD, and Matthew Liang, MD, MPH, are investigating possible causes of lupus, including reproductive hormones, environmental exposures, and dietary factors. Researchers in the Center are also studying the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes among lupus patients and the best possible means of prevention. Basic scientists Paul Anderson, MD, PhD, Laurie Glimcher, MD, and Lloyd Klickstein, MD, PhD, are conducting ongoing research into the underlying cellular causes of SLE, resulting in important new insights about this autoimmune disease.

Indications for Referral
An inflammatory rheumatic disease of immunologic origin, characterized by autoantibody production and protean clinical manifestations, lupus tends to strike young women with a peak onset in the 15 to 40 age range. Nine out of 10 cases of lupus occur in women. Patients who present with the following may be referred to the Center for an evaluation:

  • Patients with a history suggestive of lupus or mixed connective tissue disease in which a diagnosis is desired;
  • Patients with diagnosed SLE or mixed connective tissue disease for treatment consultation or management;
  • Patients with SLE who need coordinated care from a range of experts to manage organ involvement from this disease, including symptoms involving the joints, kidneys, skin, heart, lungs, and brain;
  • Patients with SLE or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome who are considering a pregnancy;
  • Patients with antiphospholipid antibodies – occurring in conjunction with SLE or alone – who may have symptoms including clots, strokes, or recurrent miscarriages.

Access and Information
For more information, or to refer a patient to the physicians in the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus/Antiphospholipid Antibody Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, please contact a Referral Coordinator at (617) 732-9894.

Author's Bio: 

Brigham and Women's Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is consistently ranked as one of the nation's leading hospitals. With a state-of-the-art cardiovascular center & orthopedic center of excellence, BWH is committed to excellence in patient care with expertise specialty of medicine and surgery.