We evaluated spine bone mineral density (BMD) in Brazilian children with juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) in order to detect potential predictors of reduction in bone mass. A cross-sectional study of BMD at the lumbar spine level (L2-L4) was conducted on 16 female JSLE patients aged 6-17 years. Thirty-two age-matched healthy girls were used as control. BMD at the lumbar spine was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Weight, height and pubertal Tanner stage were determined in patients and controls. Disease duration, mean daily steroid doses, mean cumulative steroid doses and JSLE activity measured by the systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index (SLEDAI) were determined for all JSLE patients based on their medical charts. All parameters were used as potential determinant factors for bone loss. Lumbar BMD tended to be lower in the JSLE patients, however, this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.10). No significant correlation was observed in JSLE girls between BMD and age, height, Tanner stage, disease duration, corticosteroid use or disease activity. We found a weak correlation between BMD and weight (r = 0.672). In the JSLE group we found no significant parameters to correlate with reduced bone mass. Disease activity and mean cumulative steroid doses were not related to BMD values. We did not observe reduced bone mass in female JSLE.