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Lupus. 2009 Apr;18(5):465-73. doi: 10.1177/0961203308100660.

Clinical and immunological manifestations in 624 SLE patients in Saudi Arabia.

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Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Our objective was to study the demographic, clinical, laboratory features, therapy, and outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. In this retrospective study, which covered a 27-year period (1980-2006), 624 SLE patients referring to King Khalid University hospital, Riyadh were included. There were 566 females and 58 males (9.8:1) with a mean age of 34.3 (range 8-71) years and mean age at disease onset of 25.3 years (range 0.08-67). The mean disease duration was 9.3 years (range 0.3-30). The most common disease manifestations were hematological abnormalities (82.7%), arthritis (80.4%), and mucocutaneous symptoms (64.3%). The prevalence of malar rash was 47.9%, discoid rash 17.6%, photosensitivity 30.6%, oral ulcers 39.1%, serositis 27.4%, nephritis 47.9%, and neuropsychiatric manifestations 27.6%. Lymphopenia (40.3%), anti-Ro (53.1%), anti-La (26.6%), anti-Sm (41.6%), anticardiolipin IgG (49.7%), and IgM (33.5%) antibodies were highly prevalent. Antinuclear antibodies were detected in 99.7% and anti-DNA in 80.1% patients. Low C3 and C4 were observed in 45.4% and 42.2%, respectively. Therapy included oral steroids (96.2%), IV cyclophosphamide (34.1%) and azathioprine (32.1%) along with other drugs. Long-term remission was achieved in 82.4%, disease was active in 2.6%, renal failure occurred in 4.3% requiring dialysis, 6.7% lost follow up and 4.0% patients died. Infections (48%) and active SLE (36%) were the common causes of death. The 5- and 10-year patient survival rate was 98% and 97%, respectively. This study suggests that, in our patients, SLE manifests with features similar to SLE patients from other Arab countries and Caucasia. In comparison to Caucasians, higher prevalence of anti-Ro antibodies is observed in our study, in some Middle-Eastern and Asian countries; this may likely be due to inter-ethnic variation owing to genetic differences. Our 5-year patient survival rate was similar to that of western countries, while 10-year survival rate was better than that of most places.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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