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Progression of systemic lupus erythematosus associated with propofol administration: a case report
  1. Yang Yu1,
  2. Huan Gui2,
  3. Kai Xiong3,
  4. Xiangdong Fang4,
  5. Jiake He1
  1. 1 Department of Pharmacy, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China
  2. 2 Department of Pharmacy, The Children’s Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China
  3. 3 Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China
  4. 4 Department of Nephrology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jiake He; hjk987{at}


Propofol is a sedative-hypnotic agent used as a general anaesthetic with a good safety profile. However, the potential risk for patients with systemic lupuserythematosus (SLE) receiving propofol remains unclear. We report the case of a patient who received an intravenous infusion of propofol for painless gastroscopy which exacerbated acute SLE despite no history of allergies. The adverse effect might be because propofol increased T helper cells and trigged the induction of B cell differentiation and plasmablast formation, which further promoted the secretion of auto-antibodies. This case shows that propofol can exacerbate SLE symptoms in some patients and highlights the importance of identifying potential immune-related factors before propofol administration, especially in patients with autoimmune diseases. It is important to be aware of and differentiate this uncommon and non-specific SLE manifestation from a myriad of disorders presenting with a primary digestive disorder in the outpatient clinic.

  • Propofol
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Adverse events
  • immunosuppressive medications
  • exacerbated symptoms

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