Aim: To determine the clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients diagnosed with pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus (pSLE) in the general pediatrics department of a tertiary level hospital in southern India and compare them to data of case series from other parts of the country. Methods: Retrospective chart review by two independent reviewers. All patients diagnosed with SLE in the pediatrics department of the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences hospital between 1 January 2004 and 31 September 2008, were included in the study. Results: Twenty children were diagnosed with pSLE in the above-mentioned period (female : male ratio 2.3 : 1.0). Fever (75% of patients) and arthralgia (65%) were the most common clinical presenting features. Many patients who were referred as 'Fever of unknown origin' (37.5%) or 'idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura' (15%) fulfilled the diagnosis of SLE on detailed evaluation. Renal manifestations were present in 11 patients, seven of whom underwent a biopsy. Class IV lupus nephritis was the most common finding (4/7). A very high percentage of our patients had hypocomplementemia (85%). The statistical significance of the differences between our cohort and previously reported cohorts could not be determined. Conclusions: pSLE patients in our series, compared to previous literature from India had a much higher incidence of fever, thrombocytopenia and hypocomplementemia at presentation and much lower incidence of arthritis. It is unclear whether these differences represent unique characteristics of ethnically dissimilar subsets of the Indian population. A high index of suspicion should be maintained in order to make an early diagnosis of pSLE, since the most common presenting features in our cohort were arthralgia and fever. © 2010 Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
cited By (since 1996)3
Sa Kumar, Nair, Sb, and Rajam, Lb, “Case series of pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus from Kerala: Comparison with other Indian series”, International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 13, pp. 391-395, 2010.