The objective of this study was to determine how the clinical presentation of systemic lupus erythematosus in pediatric varied with the age of onset of the disease. We reviewed the charts of a total of 88 Chinese pediatric patients (pSLE) diagnosed and admitted first time to our hospitals between 2005 and 2008. Patients were divided into 3 groups, depending on the age at diagnosis: preschool (1–6 years), school age (7–11 years), and adolescent groups (12–18 years). Among the three groups, we compared the sex ratio, disease duration at diagnosis, symptoms at the onset of the disease, clinical manifestations, laboratory examinations, SLEDAI (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index) 2000, and SLICC/ACR SDI (Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus). Most pediatric patients were in the adolescent group (47.7%), while the disease duration at diagnosis was shortest in preschool-age patients (0.65 ± 0.5 months). The most common symptoms at the onset of pSLE were fever, rash, arthritis, and seizures. Hematologic system and neuropsychiatric system were damaged commonly. The preschool-age patients had the shortest disease duration at diagnosis, the highest incidence of neuropsychiatric system involvement, and the poorest prognosis of all the age groups, especially the boys. Patients in adolescence had the peak incidence of pediatric SLE and high disease activity, begins to acquire some of the adult characteristics. School-age is a transition stage between other stages.
Pediatric SLE Age of onset Clinical characteristics