METHODS: This was a retrospective cross-sectional study on newly diagnosed SLE patients, aged 0-18 years, who visited Hasan Sadikin General Hospital, during the period of January 2009 – March 2017. Data collected were clinical manifestations, lymphocyte count, anti-dsDNA, and MEX-SLEDAI scores. Statistical analysis was performed using Chi-squared test and Student’s t-test.
RESULTS: There were 103 subjects participated in this study, 58 (56.3%) lymphopenia and 45 (43.7%) non-lymphopenia subjects. Most subjects were 12-18 years old, with a female-to-male ratio of 16:1. Compared to non-lymphopenia group, the most frequently seen clinical manifestations in the lymphopenia group were nephritis (72.4% vs. 13.3%), hypertension (24.1% vs. 6.7%), and leucopenia (36.2% vs. 6.7%), which were statistically different (p<0.05). Neuropsychiatric SLE was found only in the lymphopenia group. Negative correlation was found between lymphocyte count and anti-dsDNA level (r=-0.24), p<0.05. The median score of MEX-SLEDAI was higher in lymphopenia compared to non-lymphopenia group (13 vs. 7), p<0.05.
CONCLUSIONS: There is an association between lymphopenia and clinical manifestations (nephritis, hypertension, neuropsychiatric, leucopenia), anti-dsDNA level, and disease activity in SLE children.