Objective: To investigate differences in clinical signs and symptoms, and in antinuclear antibodies (ANA), between patients with juvenile-onset and adult-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods: Clinical and serological data of 56 patients with juvenile-onset SLE were compared with data of 194 patients with adult-onset SLE. ANA were determined by line immunoassay and by indirect immunofluorescence on Crithidia luciliae.
Results: Renal involvement, encephalopathy and haemolytic anaemia were seen, and anti-dsDNA, anti-ribosomal P and antihistone antibodies found, significantly more often in juvenile-onset SLE. Anti-dsDNA antibodies were directly associated, and anti-ribosomal P antibodies inversely associated, with renal involvement in juvenile-onset SLE. In juvenile patients with SLE and anti-dsDNA and without anti-ribosomal P antibodies the odds ratio for glomerulonephritis was 9.00; no patients with anti-ribosomal P but without anti-dsDNA had renal involvement.
Conclusion: Patients with juvenile-onset SLE more often have renal involvement and encephalopathy than patients with adult-onset SLE. Anti-ribosomal P, anti-dsDNA and antihistone antibodies are more often found in patients with juvenile-onset SLE.
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Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Approved by the local ethics committees.