Neonatal lupus: a clinical challenge

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BMJ Case Rep. 2021 Nov 29;14(11):e246590. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2021-246590.


Neonatal lupus is an uncommon entity. The main manifestations are cutaneous and cardiac. It is caused by transplacental passage of maternal antibodies (anti-Ro/SSA or anti-La/SSB), and the diagnosis is made by its detection in the mother or child. The authors present a case of a 4-month-old female infant, with a cutaneous eruption since she was 2 months old. She had no relevant personal or family history. Analytically she had an increase in liver enzymes. The histological aspect of the skin biopsy led to an autoimmunity study on the mother and infant, both of which had positive anti-Ro/SSA antibodies, confirming the diagnosis of neonatal lupus. Cardiological study was normal. The skin lesions resolved during the first year of life. Skin lesions are the most frequent non-cardiac clinical manifestation of neonatal lupus, and they are self-limited. When there is no family history, nor cardiac involvement, the diagnosis can be challenging.

PMID:34844972 | DOI:10.1136/bcr-2021-246590