Systemic lupus erythematosus children in Egypt: Homeland spectrum amid the global situation.

Eesa, N. N., H. Abdel Nabi, R. E. Owaidy, I. Khalifa, A. R. Radwan, A. M. NourEl-Din, M. A. Amer, R. R. El Shereef, E. Hassan, F. Ismail, et al., "Systemic lupus erythematosus children in Egypt: Homeland spectrum amid the global situation.", Lupus, vol. 30, issue 13, pp. 2135-2143, 2021.


OBJECTIVES: This study aims to present the manifestations of juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) across Egypt, to focus on age at onset and gender-driven influence on disease characteristics, and to compare findings to other countries.

METHODS: The study included 404 Egyptian children with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) presenting to one of the specialized rheumatology centers corresponding to 13 major governorates. Juvenile cases age was ≤ 16°years at the time of recruitment. The SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) and damage index (DI) were assessed.

RESULTS: The mean age was 13.2 ± 2.4°years; 355 females and 49 males (7.2:1), and the disease duration was 2.3 ± 1.6 years, while age at disease onset was 11.1 ± 2.5°years. Their SLEDAI was 13.5 ± 12.3, and DI, 0.36 ± 0.78. The overall estimated prevalence of childhood-SLE patients in the recruited cohort in Egypt was 1/100,000 population (0.24/100000 males and 1.8/100000 females). 7.4% developed pre-pubertal SLE (≤ 7 years); 73.3%, peri-pubertal; and 19.3% during early adolescence. The differences according to age group were equal for gender and clinical manifestations except skin lesions present in 59.3% of pre-pubertal onset, 74.6% of peri-pubertal, and 84.2% of adolescents ( = 0.029), and renal involvement in 73.8% of peripubertal, 62.1% of pre-pubertal and 58.9% of adolescents ( = 0.03). Laboratory investigations, SLEDAI, and DI were similar among age categories. Lupus nephritis was more common in Egypt compared to JSLE from other countries.

CONCLUSION: Our large multicenter study identified that female gender influenced disease characteristics with more frequent skin involvement. Skin lesions were significantly higher in adolescents, while renal involvement in peri-pubertal children.