Case Reports

Pericarditis as initial manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus in a girl

J B E Elusiyan, W A Olowu


The commonest diagnostic features of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) include mucocutaneous lesions, nephritis, arthritis and haematological disorder. Serositis in the form of pericarditis is an uncommon first-line clinical manifestation. We report on an 11-year-old Nigerian girl who presented recurrently with pericarditis as the initial clinical manifestation of SLE. Other diagnostic clinical features, namely malar rash and polyarthritis, evolved sequentially over time. Diagnostic laboratory features were lymphopenic leukopenia, a positive lupus erythematosus cell preparation and positive lupus anticoagulant tests. She responded well to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive therapy. Unexplained pericarditis in any child should warrant immediate screening for SLE.

Authors' affiliations

J B E Elusiyan,

W A Olowu, Obafemi Awolowo University

Full Text



Arthritis; Leukopaenia; Malar Rash; Pericardial Effusion

Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2011;5(4):123.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-05-15
Date published: 2011-12-06

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