Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), also commonly referred to as lupus, is an autoimmune disease with a relapsing and remitting course of chronic inflammation. The auto-antibodies of SLE are produced by B cells; however, other immune system factors play a role in the development of SLE. Natural killer (NK) cells have been found to participate in the development of SLE, and their cell activity is reduced in patients with SLE.
Dilated cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle stretches and becomes weakened, leading to less efficient pumping of the blood throughout the body. It is the most common form of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (not due to coronary artery disease). Dilated cardiomyopathy may be associated with damage to the heart muscle from a variety of causes such as inflammation, infections, and toxic substances. Diastolic dysfunction seen in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy refers to insufficient relaxation and filling of the ventricles during the second part of the heart-pumping phase (leading to increased pressure in the ventricles).
Sickle cell disease refers to a group of genetic blood disorders mainly affecting people of African, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean decent. Those with sickle cell disease carry the abnormal hemoglobin S in their red blood cells due to a mutation of the β-globin gene. Instead of having flexible, disc-shaped red blood cells, affected individuals have characteristic sickle-shaped, more rigid cells that cause disturbances in blood flow and tissue oxygenation.