Childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus: A cohort study

Shakeel Ahmed, Syed Rehan Ali, Farida Karim, Sidra Ishaq, Iman Qaiser, Kanwal Nayani, Ayesha Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the clinical and immunological characteristics and short-term outcome of children with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Study Design: A descriptive cohort study. Place and Duration of Study: Paediatric Rheumatology Clinic, The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, from January 2011 to December 2015. Methodology: Clinical and immunological profile and short-term outcome of children less than 16 years of age admitted in the paediatric ward, with the diagnosis of SLE was studied. Demographic data, clinical presentation, laboratory findings, immunological profile and treatment regimens of these children were evaluated. Results: Thirty-two children, satisfying the criteria of American College of Rheumatology (ACR) for SLE, were enrolled during the study period of five consecutive years. A female predominance was observed with 28 (87.5%) patients being female (F:M 7:1). Mean age at symptom onset was 10.5 +2.7 years; and 8.8 +2.1 years in females and males, respectively. The mean age at diagnosis was 11.3 +2.8 years in females and 9.4 +1.9 years in males. Prolonged fever was the most common non-specific symptom found in 27 (84%), followed by pallor in 13 (41%) patients. Twenty-two (69%) children were found to be anemic and 18 patients (56%) having signs of arthritis at presentation. Renal involvement was observed in 15 (47%) patients. The most common laboratory finding was anemia, found in 22 (69%) of cases. The most common immunological markers were serum anti-neutrophil antibodies (ANA), positive in 28 (88%) patients, followed by anti double-stranded DNA antibodies, raised in 26 (81%) of cases. Out of 32, 12 patients were lost to follow-up. Of the remaining 20 children who were followed for four years, ten (50%) went into remission. Conclusion: Childhood-onset SLE encompasses a wide variety of manifestations with a female preponderance. Fever, arthralgia and pallor are the most frequent clinical manifestations among the children. Hemolytic anemia (HA) is the most common laboratory abnormality, with ANA and anti ds-DNA antibodies positivity in the majority of padiatric patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-369
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons--Pakistan : JCPSP
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Childhood-onset
  • Immunological profile
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Outcome
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus


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