Usefulness of skin immunofluorescence for distinguishing SLE from SLE-like renal lesions: A pilot study

Ines L'Erario, Alessandra Frezzolini, Barbara Ruggiero, Ornella De Pità, Francesco Emma, Alessandra Gianviti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lupus nephritis (LN) may represent a diagnostic problem, particularly in pediatric patients that present with typical histological lesions but do not fulfill the American Rheumatism Association (ARA) criteria for the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Based on the welldescribed deposition of immunoglobulins (Ig) and complement at the dermoepithelial junction in SLE, we hypothesized that skin biopsies may help in the diagnosis of LN. To test this hypothesis, we carried out a pilot study, performing a skin biopsy in 22 patients with LN and 13 patients with lupus-like lesions, regardless of the time elapsed from onset of renal disease. The latter group of patients was further divided into a purely renal group, designated as isolated full-house nephropathy (FHN), and a dubious cases group, presenting with additional clinical and biological features consistent with SLE but insufficient for diagnosing SLE. None of the 6 isolated FHN patients had positive skin immunofluorescence. Conversely, 5/7 patients in the dubious cases group (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Full-house nephropathy
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Skin biopsy
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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