In systemic lupus erythematosus renal involvement is more frequent in children than in adults. Overall, 60-80% of children with systemic lupus erythematosus have urinary or renal function abnormalities early in the disease course. In 90% of patients, renal disease occurs within two years from disease onset. Clinically significant renal involvement ranges from asymptomatic urinary findings to nephrotic syndrome and renal failure. Long-term prognosis is similar to that observed in adults. Treatment aspects that are peculiar to children include drug side-effects, such as growth inhibition induced by steroids, the need to consider morbidity-related issues with respect to the very long life expectancy of patients and the problems related to the impact of disease in adolescents. The recent availability of a childhood SLE definition of improvement and the presence of large international paediatric rheumatology networks should, in the future, facilitate the implementation of controlled clinical trials devoted to paediatric SLE.
- Juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus
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