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Systemic lupus erythematosus and COVID-19: what we know so far
  1. Giuseppe A. Ramirez1,2,
  2. Luca Moroni1,2,
  3. Emanuel Della-Torre1,2,
  4. Maria Gerosa3,4,
  5. Lorenzo Beretta5,6,
  6. Enrica P. Bozzolo2,
  7. Lorenzo Dagna1,2
  1. 1 Università Vita Salute San Raffaele, Milano, Italy
  2. 2 Unit of Immunology, Rheumatology, Allergy and Rare Diseases, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Milano, Italy
  3. 3 Unit of Clinical Rheumatology, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Gaetano Pini, Milano, Italy
  4. 4 Department of Clinical Science of Community Health and Research Center for Adult and Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases, University of Milan, Milano, Italy
  5. 5 Referral Center for Systemic Autoimmune Diseases, La Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore di Milano Policlinico, Milano, Italy
  6. 6 University of Milan, Milano, Lombardia, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Giuseppe A. Ramirez, Università Vita Salute San Raffaele, 20132 Milano, Italy; ramirez.giuseppealvise{at}

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We read with interest the recent report by Mathian et al 1 about 17 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and COVID-19, which has paved the way to a constellation of articles aiming to find clues on potential peculiarities in COVID-19 epidemiology and course among patients with SLE. An ongoing debate has also recently grown on the role of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), with increasing data disconfirming a protective effect of this drug towards severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in general and specifically also in patients with SLE.2 3 We were thus prompted to summarise the evidence published so far on this latter topic to look for recurrent clinical or epidemiological patterns among different studies/cohorts. To this aim, we analysed all studies published in the English literature until June, 30th 2020 and identified 20 articles describing a total of 4059 patients with SLE, 255 of whom with a PCR-confirmed or presumptive (ie, based on symptoms or radiological findings) diagnosis of …

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  • Contributors GAR designed the study, collected and analysed the data and drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to the design of the study and to revise it critically for important intellectual content. All authors contributed in revising the manuscript and approved its final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.