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Mod Rheumatol. 2008;18(2):161-4. doi: 10.1007/s10165-008-0029-0. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Clinical manifestations and clinical syndromes of Filipino patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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  • 1Section of Rheumatology, Clinical Immunology and Osteoporosis, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines.


The aim of this study was to describe the presenting clinical manifestations and syndromes of Filipino patients on diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We performed a retrospective review of medical records of Filipino SLE patients included in the lupus database of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, Philippines. All patients fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology criteria for SLE. The following data were recorded: (1) demographic profile, (2) clinical manifestations on SLE diagnosis, and (3) clinical syndromes prior to and during fulfillment of diagnostic criteria for SLE and disease interval from diagnosis of a clinical syndrome to SLE diagnosis. Clinical data of 1,070 patients entered into the UST lupus database as of October 2005 were analyzed. The average age at SLE diagnosis was 28.5 +/- 11.5 (range 5-71) years, with 1,025 female and 45 male subjects. The most common presenting manifestation was arthritis (68%), followed by malar rash (49%), renal involvement (47%), photosensitivity (33%), and oral ulcers (33%). The following clinical syndromes were recorded prior to or during SLE diagnosis: nephrotic syndrome (30%), undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD) (22%), autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) (6%), and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) (6%). Among these, AIHA preceded the diagnosis of SLE at the longest interval (20.3 +/- 30.6, range 1-194 months). In this large database of Filipino patients with SLE, the most common presenting manifestation was arthritis, with renal involvement occurring in almost 50%. Among the clinical syndromes, nephrotic syndrome was the most common, whereas AIHA recorded the longest interval preceding SLE diagnosis, at an average of 20.3 months. Our findings are similar to data from other countries and emphasize the broad range of manifestations of SLE. The findings also reinforce the need to establish and maintain SLE databases to enhance awareness, early diagnosis, and more efficient management of the disease.

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