Clinical and immunological manifestations in 151 SLE patients living in Dubai

Lupus. 2008 Jan;17(1):62-6. doi: 10.1177/0961203307084297.


To gain better understanding of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in Dubai we studied the clinical and immunological manifestations in a cohort of 151 patients attended Rheumatology Clinic in Dubai Hospital between January 2002 and January 2007. We found that the female to male ratio was 20.5:1, with a mean age of 35.5 years (0.9). The mean age at disease onset was 28.9 years (0.8) and mean disease duration 6.7 years (0.4). Five-year survival rate in our cohort was 94%. The commonest clinical manifestations in this cohort were arthritis (88%), haematological abnormalities (61.6%), and malar rash (60.3%). Leucopenia, fever, hair loss and proteinuria were observed in approximately half of the patients. Anaemia was found in 44.3% but only 9.9% had haemolytic anaemia. Photosensitive rash was seen in 43% of patients. Approximately one-third of the patients had serositis and mouth ulcers, 30.5 and 27.2% respectively. Vasculitis was observed in 19.2% of patients. Neuropsychiatric manifestations (15.9%), discoid lupus lesions (12.6%), and brain infarcts (13.2%) were infrequent. Subacute cutaneous lupus (6%) was also uncommon. Anti-nuclear antibodies were detected in 98%, anti-double stranded DNA antibodies in 88.7%, anti-Sm antibodies in 19.7%, anti-RNP in 40.4%, anti-Ro antibodies in 52.3% and anti-La antibodies in 19.8%. Anti-cardiolipin IgM and IgG were detected in 25.3 and 22.4%, respectively. This study suggests that Arabs with SLE residing in Dubai have comparable clinical features to their counterparts in other Arab countries and Western countries. The high prevalence of positive anti-Ro antibodies among our Arab patients probably reflects a character, that is, commonly seen in SLE patients of Middle East origin.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asian People / statistics & numerical data*
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / ethnology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / mortality
  • Male
  • United Arab Emirates / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*


  • Autoantibodies