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Rheumatol Int ; 41(4): 799-809, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064466


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune and multisystemic chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various organs, including skin, joints, kidneys, lungs and the nervous system. Infectious agents have long been implicated in the pathogenesis of SLE. The new viral infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has shown that, in genetically predisposed patients could trigger the presentation or exacerbation of the autoimmune disease. We herein report a case of a 45-year-old man who presented respiratory symptoms, bilateral pleural effusion, ascites, splenomegaly, severe thrombocytopenia and renal failure with proteinuria and hematuria. SARS-CoV-2 PCR confirmed the COVID-19 diagnosis. We diagnosed the patient with SLE based on the clinical manifestations and positive immunological markers (2019 European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology, score of 18). Glucocorticoid pulses were administered to the patient, which improved renal function. However, thrombocytopenia was also refractory to IV immunoglobulin and rituximab, so the patient underwent splenectomy. Through a systematic search of the medical literature, we retrieved two cases with newly onset SLE and five cases with previous SLE diagnosis that showed activity of the disease due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. We herein present a systemic review of these cases and discuss the clinical manifestations that could help to the diagnosis of this clinical condition.

COVID-19/complications , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Autoimmunity , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/diagnosis , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/drug therapy , Male , Middle Aged