The goals of this study were to ascertain damage in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) from five rheumatologic centres in Argentina and to examine overall damage, damage by domain and damage by item within each domain. We performed a retrospective observational study including patients with SLE (ACR 1997 revised and modified criteria) from five rheumatology centres in Argentina. Organ damage was scored using the SLICC/ACR DI (SDI), ascertained at years 1, 2, 5 and 10. Three centres provided information up to the fifth year. Of the 197 patients, 88.3% were women and their mean age was 33.2 years. The mean disease duration and follow-up were 7.6 and 5.3 years, respectively. Damage accrued gradually over time with SDI ranging from 0.52 (+/-1.1) at year 1 up to 2.46 (+/-2.1) at year 10. The renal system was the most involved system, followed by the neuropsychiatric, the cardiovascular and the musculoskeletal systems. Proteinuria, cognitive impairment, pericarditis, avascular necrosis, cataract and alopecia were the predominant items in their respective systems. Systems such as peripheral vascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, diabetes, malignancy and premature gonadal failure were not frequent. Overall SDI had a gradual increase over time. Damage in each domain of SDI, except for diabetes, had a similar behaviour. Behaviour of items in each domain varied.