Recent reports of avascular necrosis (AN) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have suggested that its occurrence may be most frequent in young patients. In our population of 99 patients with SLE, 7 young patients have developed AN. Patterns of prednisone therapy had no apparent relationship to the development of AN. AN may become apparent in patients who have relatively inactive lupus, when increased physical activity precipitates articular collapse. A diagnosis of AN should be considered in young patients with localized joint pain.
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