The acute form of lupus erythematosus differs from the chronic form of the disease with its localized lesions of the face in that it presents dissemination of cutaneous lesions to other parts of the body, serious constitutional symptoms and a highly fatal prognosis. It was first recognized by Kaposi1 in 1872, and again described by Pernet2 in his "Thèse de Paris" in 1908. The reports of many acute cases since then show a tendency to consider the disease in this form more as a constitutional illness than as a disease primarily of the skin. Acute cases may develop in people who have, or who have not had, previous manifestation of the usual lupus erythematosus.
The illness is especially one of the second to fourth decades of life, but is sometimes seen in childhood. The acute cases, as Goeckerman3 said, seem to "masquerade" under the guise of other