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Rembrandt's Maria Bockenolle has a butterfly rash and digital deformities: overlapping syndrome of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Medical Hypotheses
0306-9877
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
68
Issue
4
Pages
906–909
Identifiers
PMID: 17113236
Source
Medline

Abstract

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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