Using a detailed questionnaire, the cumulative historical and current demographic, clinical and serological data on 704 SLE patients from 29 European centres and 14 countries have been assessed. Ninety-three percent of the patients were Caucasian and the female/male ratio was 10:1. Analysis of the cumulative incidence showed that arthralgia/arthritis (94%), rash (69%), Raynaud's phenomenon (49%), serositis (44%) and renal disease (38%) were the most frequent clinical manifestations. Virtually all the patients (98%) were antinuclear antibody positive, while anti-ds-DNA antibodies (76%), hypocomplementaemia (71%) and anti-Ro(SSA) antibodies (35%) were frequent serological abnormalities. Whilst much of this data is in line with previous reports, it is notable that renal, lung, and central nervous system involvement and the frequency of rheumatoid factor, anti-Sm and anti-RNP antibodies were much lower than in most comparable series in the United States. We assume that ethnic differences and the greater present awareness of lupus could explain this variations. Low dose corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and anti-malarials were used to treat over half of the patients, 75% of whom were between 15 and 55 years of age. This report offers a useful overview of lupus both clinically and serologically in Europe in the 1990's.