Author(s): Ghedira I, Sakly W, Jeddi M
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To analyse the clinical and serological characteristics of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the center of Tunisia. METHODS: We studied 128 patients with SLE aged one to 73 years. Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) were detected by an immunofluorescence method. Anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) antibodies, anti-extractable nuclear antigen antibodies (anti-Sm, anti-SS-A, anti-SS-B and anti-RNP) and anti-cardiolipin (aCL of IgG, IgA and IgM isotypes) antibodies were detected by ELISA. RESULTS: Malar rash (71\%) and anemia (71\%) were the most common clinical manifestations. Arthritis was seen in 62.5\%. Severe kidney damage was observed in 39\%. Pericarditis and pleuritis were observed in only 23\%. Neurological manifestations (16\%) were uncommon. Clinical manifestations of anti-phospholipid syndrome (SAPL) were observed in 15\%. ANA were detected in 100\%, anti-dsDNA in 76\%, anti-Sm in 55.5\%, anti-SS-A in 64\%, anti-SS-B in 33.6\%, anti-RNP in 49\%. aCL of IgG, IgA and IgM isotypes were detected in 63.5\%, 49\% and 40.6\% of the patients respectively. The only significant positive clinical associations were those of arthritis with anti-dsDNA antibodies (p = 0.022) and malar rash with anti-SS-A antibodies (p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that tunisians with SLE present, in general, a mild form of disease predominantly manifested by cutaneous, musculoskeletal and hematologic involvement but low prevalence of major organ damage.
This article was published in Pathol Biol (Paris)
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis