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March 14, 1977

Collagen Disease in Children: A Review of 71 Cases

JAMA. 1977;237(11):1095-1100. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270380039016

Seventy-one children with the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (39 cases), dermatomyositis (25 cases), or scleroderma (7 cases) were studied retrospectively. The children with SLE were much sicker than those with the other two diseases and were found to have a poorer prognosis than adults with SLE. In general, the earlier the age of onset, the poorer the prognosis. Early gastrointestinal bleeding, abnormal renal findings, and cardiac abnormalities heralded early death from SLE. The peak incidence of SLE near the time of puberty suggests hormonal influence on this disorder in children. Survival rates and morbidity improved as the treatment improved. Corticosteroids were the main therapeutic agents. The patients with scleroderma also received varying doses of vitamin E, penicillamine, chloroquine hydrochloride, and salicylates. The antimetabolites were used to treat SLE starting in the late 1960s.

(JAMA 237:1095-1100, 1977)