Objective: Studies of early-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have identified monogenic forms of the disease. The primary objective of this study was to compare the clinical and laboratory features of the first patients included in the GENIAL/LUMUGENE cohort to those reported in previous publications. The secondary objective was to determine whether subgroups with a distinctive pattern of clinical and biological features are seen in predominantly genetic forms of SLE.
Methods: GENIAL/LUMUGENE is a French nationwide study of the clinical, immunological, and genetic features of juvenile-onset SLE (clinicaltrials.gov #NCT01992666). Clinical and laboratory data from the first 64 patients younger than 18 years who were included in the first part of the study were collected retrospectively. Predefined criteria were used to divide the patients into three subgroups: syndromic SLE (n=10) and familial SLE (n=12) - both presumed to have a strong genetic component - and other forms of early-onset SLE (n=42).
Results: The predefined criteria for identifying subgroups based on knowledge of the clinical and epidemiological features of monogenic SLE showed a significantly younger age at onset in syndromic SLE (P<0.05) and a lower frequency of joint manifestations in familial SLE.
Conclusions: In this study, clinical and epidemiological data alone failed to identify a specific patient subgroup characterized by the same disease presentation or progression. This result may be related to the small sample size or indicate marked heterogeneity of juvenile-onset SLE. Genetic studies using new sequencing techniques in these patients might identify genetic factors responsible for marked phenotypic variability.
Keywords: Autoimmunity; Genetics; Monogenic lupus; Pediatrics; Systemic lupus erythematosus.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier SAS.