The significance of abnormal serologic tests in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the absence of active clinical disease is unclear. In this report we describe a group of 14 patients with SLE in whom a discordance between clinical and serologic features was apparent. These patients had persistently positive lupus erythematosus preparations and antinuclear antibody tests, low serum complement levels and high levels of DNA binding. Their lymphocyte response to concanavalin A (Con A) mitogen was suppressed. They have been asymptomatic and have remained untreated for a mean of four and a quarter years.