Symptomatic osteonecrosis occurred in 8 out of 68 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Multiple joints were involved in 3 patients, and weight-bearing joints were most frequently affected. Osteonecrosis tended to occur early in the disease, and the patients had all received corticosteroids. Symptoms tended to occur when the disease had progressed from an active phase into one of clinical and serological quiescence. In weight-bearing joints classical radiological changes were often absent at the onset of symptoms.
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