African Journal of Internal Medicine ISSN 2326-7283 Vol. 4 (1), pp. 348-354, January, 2016. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Systemic lupus erythematosus in children: A study about 37 Tunisian cases

Y Thabet1*, A Mankaï1*, A Achour1, W Sakly1, A Trabelsi1, A Harbi 2, F Amri3, M T Sfar4, I Ghedira1, 5

Research unit (03/UR/07-02), Faculty of pharmacy, Monastir, Tunisia.

Pediatric Department, Sahloul Hospital, Sousse, Tunisia .

Pediatric Department, Ibn El Jazzar Hospital, Kairouan, Tunisia.

Pediatric Department, Tahar Sfar Hospital, Mahdia, Tunisia .

Laboratory of Immunology, Farhat Hached Hospital, Sousse, Tunisia.

Corresponding author. E-mail:

Accepted 13 May, 2016


The objective of this study was to determine the clinical and serological characteristics of pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This retrospective study included 37 patients with SLE. All patients fulfilled the ACR revised criteria for SLE and diagnosed between 1994 and 2009. Anti-nuclear antibodies were detected by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) on liver rat sections. Anti-dsDNA, anti-Sm, anti-nucleosome, anti-SSA, anti-SSB and anti-RNP antibodies were detected by ELISA. Anti-dsDNA antibodies were detected also by IIF on Chrithidia luciliae. The most common signs were anemia (86.5%), proteinuria (73%) and malar rash (67.6%). The frequency of arthritis and photosensitivity were 45.9% and 43.2% respectively. Leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and oral ulcer were present in 37.8%, 32.4% and 18.9% of cases respectively. The frequency of discoid rash was 13.5%. Anti-dsDNA antibodies were detected in 81.1%, anti-Sm and anti-RNP in 56.8%, anti-SSA in 43.2% and anti-SSB in 35.1%. The highest frequency of childhood SLE is situated at the age of puberty. Renal disease is very frequent in paediatric SLE.

Key words. Systemic lupus erythematosus, renal disease, children, Tunisia.