Rembrandt's Maria Bockenolle has a butterfly rash and digital deformities: overlapping syndrome of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
- Published Article
- Publication Date
Jan 01, 2007
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are the most common autoimmune disorders, although they each have very different pathophysiology. In general, RA is considered to be a Th1-mediated disease, while SLE is a Th2-mediated disease. Thus, their overlapping, in so called "rhupus", is a rare condition. In Rembrandt van Rijn's (1606-1669) portrait of the middle-aged Maria Bockenolle, we have what may be the earliest depiction of a case of rhupus syndrome: the coexistence of a butterfly rash and digital deformities. This suggests the possible historical importance of an RA epidemic which took place in the early 17th century.
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The corresponding record at NLM can be accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17113236