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Systemic lupus erythematosus

Date: May 2011


A definite diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus by a Consultant Rheumatologist where either of the following are present:

  1. Severe kidney involvement with systemic lupus erythematosus as evidenced by:
    • permanent impaired renal function with a glomerular filtration rate below 30 ml/min/1.73m2, and
    • abnormal urinalysis showing proteinuria or haematuria.

In addition to the above criteria, the disease must have been unresponsive to disease modifying drugs for a continuous period of at least 12 months.


  1. Severe central nervous system involvement with systemic lupus erythematosus as evidenced by permanent deficit of the neurological system as evidenced by at least any one of the following symptoms, which must be present on clinical examination and expected to last for the remainder of the life of the life assured:

    • paralysis
    • dysarthria (difficulty with speech)
    • aphasia (inability to speak)
    • dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing)
    • difficulty in walking
    • lack of coordination
    • severe dementia where the insured needs constant supervision, or
    • permanent coma.

For the purposes of this definition seizures, headaches, fatigue, lethargy or any symptoms of psychological or psychiatric origin will not be accepted as evidence of permanent deficit of the neurological system.


Definition update history:

Systemic lupus erythematosus May 2011

What does this mean?

The body’s immune system produces white blood cells and proteins called antibodies to destroy viruses and bacteria that are foreign to the body. Lupus, like other auto-immune diseases, mistakes your own tissue as foreign and attacks it causing inflammation. It can affect major organs in the body and stop them functioning properly.

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