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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Factitious disorders mimicking systemic lupus erythematosus.

Factitious disorders are one of the most difficult challenges to the sagacity of the physician. Self-inflicted injuries and diseases have been recognized since Biblical times. In the Middle Ages, hysterics were known to place leeches in their mouths to simulate hemoptysis and to abrade their skin to reproduce skin conditions. Münchausen syndrome, originally described in 1951, is the term applied to persons who seek medical care by feigning illness in the absence of any organic medical or surgical disease. Since the first report of the syndrome, many case reports have documented the performance of unneeded operations and the administration of dangerous drugs to these patients. Rheumatologic manifestations in this syndrome are rare, and include septic arthritis, osteomyelitis, destructive arthropathy, reflex sympathetic dystrophy and systemic lupus erythematosus ( SLE). We reviewed the English literature for the past 29 years and found only 8 patients with Münchausen syndrome who simulated SLE. It is interesting to consider the damage mechanisms (some of the patients satisfied 4 or more of the criteria for the classification of SLE) and how a complex disease with a broad spectrum of manifestations such as lupus can be simulated, the only limits being the patient's knowledge and imagination.[1]


  1. Factitious disorders mimicking systemic lupus erythematosus. Tlacuilo-Parra, J.A., Guevara-Gutierrez, E., Garcia-De La Torre, I. Clinical and experimental rheumatology. (2000) [Pubmed]
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