Systemic lupus erythematosus in the young: the importance of a transition clinic

Lupus. 2007;16(8):613-7. doi: 10.1177/0961203307078973.


The objective of this report is to focus on the problems of patients with childhood onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at the age of transition to an adult care Unit. SLE is a multisystem disease characterised by diffuse internal organ involvement and by the presence of antinuclear and anti DNA antibodies. Central nervous system and renal damage are the main complications especially in children. Transition in health-care is a multifaceted, active process that attends to the medical, psychosocial and educational-vocational needs of adolescents when they move from child to adult-oriented lifestyles and systems. Lack of institutional support and difficulty in communicating and in identifying adult specialists are the major concerns in a transition care Unit. Psychosocial matters can make this change dramatic and hard for young people and their families. Patients with juvenile-onset SLE require specialised and multidisciplinary care when entering a transition clinic; physicians need to focus on preventing long-term complications of SLE, including atherosclerosis, obesity, osteoporosis and their treatment. We report on our experience in a cohort of patients with juvenile SLE cared for at our transition clinic over last six years.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Child
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control


  • Autoantibodies