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Childhood systemic lupus erythematosus in South India

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Out of 330 adult Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) cases who attended the Rheumatic Care Centre, Government General Hospital, 59 children were analysed. There was no case with onset before the age of 5 years. There were 49 females and 110 males (M:F =1∶4.9). The initial manifestations were fever (67%), arthritis (61%), skin rash (59%) and lymphadenopathy (27.1%). There was no case of Raynaud's phenomenon. Only 10.1% of patients presented with thrombocytopenic purpura. In the cumulative clinical features, arthritis in 86.6%, fever in 79.8%, skin rash in 69.4%, lymphadenopathy in 61% and hepatosplenomegaly in 39.9% were observed. Renal involvement was seen in 49.1%, neuropsychiatric manifestations in 27.1%, pleuropulmonary in 22% and cardiac manifestations in 10.2%. Anaemia was seen in 50.8%, leukopenia in 18.4%, thrombocytopenia in 11.8%, ANA in 100%, anti-dsDNA in 92.3%, anti-Sm in 34.7%, anti-SSA in 38.5%, anti-SSB in 15.4%, ACL in 30.8%, low C3 in 50% and false positive VDRL in 3.3%. Death occurred in 8 children, 3 due to infection, 2 due to renal causes, I due to cardiac and 2 due to central nervous system involvement.

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Chandrasekaran, A.N., Rajendran, C.P., Ramakrishnan, S. et al. Childhood systemic lupus erythematosus in South India. Indian J Pediatr 61, 223–229 (1994).

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