As well as general lupus outpatient clinics, we also provide a range of specialist clinics run with consultants from other specialties within the Lupus Unit. Please open the tabs below to find out more information about each of these clinics.
Lupus pregnancy clinic
We provide specialist advice to patients with lupus and related disorders such as antiphospholipid syndrome, who want to plan a pregnancy or who are already pregnant.
Patients with lupus are at significant risk to their health and that of their child, but with careful pre-pregnancy advice and monitoring the rate of successful pregnancy is now very high.
Lupus nephritis (kidney) clinic
This clinic deals with lupus nephritis (also known as glomerulonephritis) where the kidneys are affected by lupus. This affects about a third of lupus patients.
Some signs of lupus nephritis include:
- swelling of the ankles and around the eyes
- water retention
- foaming of urine
- increased urination at night
- protein in the urine.
Pain in the abdomen or back, and pain during urination are not symptoms of kidney disease, but are most likely signs of infection (urinary infections are common in lupus and can be successfully treated with antibiotics).
Anti-phospholipid syndrome is also known as Hughes' Syndrome (named after the doctor who discovered it, Professor Graham Hughes).
Patients with antiphospholipid antibodies have an increased risk of thrombosis (clotting) in veins and arteries. This can be present in lupus patients and also non-lupus patients.
The main symptoms are:
- recurrent abortion/miscarriage
- low platelet count
- livedo reticularis (lacy, mottled pattern on skin)
- memory loss
- abnormal motor skills (chorea)
Systemic vasculitis clinic
Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels. It can affect capillaries, arterioles, venules, arteries and veins.
It causes the vessels to narrow and potentially to clot. It can be caused by an immune reaction in the vessel walls.
Vasculitis can cause a large range of different symptoms, depending on which part of the body is involved. The symptoms can vary from very mild to causing major organ damage, including damage to the kidneys and lungs.
Lupus dermatology clinic
The lupus dermatology clinic is only for skin conditions directly related to lupus. In this clinic we focus on the impact of lupus on skin.
As doctors are not sure what causes lupus, the reasons that lupus affects the skin are also unclear.
There are many different skin problems in lupus, which vary from person to person. The 'classical' skin problem in lupus is the butterfly rash. This is a red rash, sometimes no more than a mild blush, that occurs across the bridge of the nose and on the cheeks resulting in a distinctive butterfly-like appearance. However practically any type of rash can occur in systemic lupus.
The main way in which lupus sufferers can help their skin is to avoid sun exposure. This means covering up with long sleeves and trousers in the sunlight and wearing a hat if out in the sun for any length of time.
Pulmonary hypertension clinic
This clinic is for lupus patients with problems relating to pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs).
It can cause damage to the blood vessels and the lung tissue, lower blood oxygen levels, and can cause heart failure.
Patients are seen by a consultant cardiologist specialising in pulmonary hypertension and are treated with the advanced therapies now available which have improved patient care and outcomes.
Lupus lung clinic
Lupus and related rheumatic diseases can affect the lung leading to symptoms of breathlessness, cough and chest pains.
This clinic uses CT scans and breathing tests to diagnose early lung disease in lupus patients. Treatment is then decided by an experienced chest doctor and rheumatologist.
Myositis is muscle inflammation and can affect patients with lupus. Symptoms include muscle weakness, breathlessness, joint pains and skin rashes.
This clinic helps to diagnose the condition by taking a small biopsy of the leg muscle.
Lupus neurology clinic
The brain and nervous system can be affected by lupus causing headaches, weakness, pins and needles and numbness as well as memory problems.
This clinic seeks to diagnose and treat lupus patients who are experiencing these symptoms.