An update on childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus

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Purpose of review

This manuscript will provide a review of studies published in the last year examining the major disease manifestations, comorbidities, biomarkers and therapeutic trials involving childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE) patients.

Recent findings

Recent multicenter prospective cohort studies supported previous findings that cSLE patients accrue damage early on their disease. Four studies showed that ethnicity altered disease severity and incidence of both cSLE and lupus nephritis. Description of clinical features and response to therapy in a large group of cSLE patients with neuropsychiatric involvement provided useful information on this feature. Advancement in the field of biomarkers was seen but the new biomarkers are not yet ready for clinical use. A randomized placebo-controlled trial of statins to prevent atherosclerosis progression did not meet its primary endpoint but did show a trend in improvement of carotid intima–media thickness, a surrogate marker of atherosclerosis. No other prospective interventional treatment trials designed specifically for cSLE patients were reported in the past year.


There is an urgent need to better characterize the long-term outcome of cSLE patients and identify early on those at risk of a worse outcome. Advances in the field of biologics and small molecules will hopefully allow better targeted therapies of the cSLE population.

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