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Neonatal lupus: a clinical challenge
  1. Filipa Costa Cascais1,
  2. Sofia Fraga1,
  3. Sandra Sousa2 and
  4. Margarida Pinto1
  1. 1Paediatrics, Hospital Garcia de Orta EPE, Almada, Setúbal, Portugal
  2. 2Rheumatology, Hospital Garcia de Orta EPE, Almada, Setúbal, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Filipa Costa Cascais; filipa.c.cascais{at}


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.

  • infant health
  • dermatology
  • rheumatology

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  • Contributors FCC and SF were responsible for child’s clinical evaluation during Paediatric appointment. MP was a Paediatric consultant. SS was a Rheumatology consultant. FCC was responsible for collecting clinical data and drafting the manuscript. SF was responsible for collecting clinical data, revising the manuscript and final approve for submission. SS and MP were responsible for revising the manuscript and final approve for submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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