In order to describe the incidence and characteristics of major infections in juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (jSLE), we studied a cohort of 120 patients (51% Hispanic and 28% African American, 49% with renal involvement and 12% with neuropsychiatric manifestations). There were 101 major infections affecting 44 patients (37%) for an incidence of 169/1000 patient-years of follow-up. Active disease at jSLE diagnosis, renal involvement, neuropsychiatric manifestations, higher cumulative dose of prednisone, and treatment with cyclophosphamide or mycophenolate mofetil were all associated with major infection (p<0.05). By logistic regression, the combined effect of treatment with cyclophosphamide and cumulative dose of prednisone was associated with major infection (p=0.04). Two patients died, one due to cytomegalovirus infection. Major infection was associated with damage (p=0.004). In conclusion, in a large cohort of jSLE patients, major infections were common, were associated with active disease and its treatment, and resulted in noteworthy morbidity.
Keywords: Infections; Lupus;; SLE;; Systemic lupus erythematosus;.