Acute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus (ACLE) Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jul 20, 2021
  • Author: Fnu Nutan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Dermatomyositis, one differential to consider in the diagnosis of acute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (ACLE), mimics lupus erythematosus clinically and histologically. However, antinuclear antibody (ANA) assay results invariably are positive in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and in those with ACLE, but they are less likely to be positive in those with dermatomyositis.

Localized ACLE can be confused with similar-appearing rashes, including rosacea, polymorphic light eruption, photoallergic contact dermatitis, or seborrheic dermatitis. Generalized ACLE can be confused with drug hypersensitivity, phototoxic or photoallergic drug eruptions, viral exanthems, or dermatomyositis. [19]

Differential Diagnoses