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Louise Coote Lupus Unit

Providing a highly specialist service for patients with lupus 

Our service

The Louise Coote Lupus Unit is the largest lupus unit in Europe. We provide a wide range of services for patients with lupus and other autoimmune connective tissue disorders and Anti-phospholipid (Hughes) Syndrome.

In most hospitals lupus is part of the general rheumatology service. At St Thomas' we are extremely fortunate in being able to provide patients and GPs with a distinct and highly specialist service.

We are at the forefront of research in lupus and autoimmune connective tissue disorders. Our lupus research unit is part of King's College London.

What is lupus?

Lupus is a disease in which the immune system becomes overactive. The normal immune system, which produces antibodies against foreign invaders, such as bacteria, goes into ‘overdrive’ and produces too many antibodies. It can affect any organ of the body.

It is often mistaken for other conditions, as the symptoms can be highly diverse, including:

  • fatigue
  • rashes
  • allergies
  • depression
  • kidney failure.

The cause is not known. There is a definite genetic tendency but despite years of research, no virus or infectious cause can be identified, neither is there evidence of an environmental cause.

All ages can be affected, but the commonest sufferers are young females, the peak ages being 18 - 45.