Forty-nine male SLE patients, diagnosed and followed in seven medical centers in Israel between 1954 and 1983, were studied and analyzed retrospectively in order to determine whether the disease in males was clinically different from that reported in females both in Israel and in the world literature. The primary clinical and laboratory manifestations, the severity of the disease at the onset or at any time during the course of the disease, and the 1-15 year survival rates were not different from those described before in female SLE, although neurological involvement, nephritis, thrombocytopenia, vasculitis and hepatosplenomegaly were more prevalent in our series. However, more than half of the male patients (53%) had a benign course of disease characterized by long remissions requiring minimal or no medication. Long-term remission of serious renal involvement was observed completely in 14 and partially in 5 out of 33 patients. These results suggest that the male sex might alter the clinical course of SLE.