Aim Neonatal lupus (NL) is a rare disease (1/12000–1/20000 newborns). It appears in the neonatal period of newborns of mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or other connective tissue diseases. It’s caused by the transfer of antibodies (Anti-Ro/Anti-La) from the mother to the fetus through the placenta. We recall the main features of the NL and the management of the child who have a mother with SLE.
Methods We present 5 cases of mother-child diagnosed with SLE or NL. Four cases corresponds to mothers diagnosed with SLE (two or them, with children diagnosed of NL), and the other case is a NL with an asymptomatic mother without the diagnosis of SLE until this moment.
Results Two or the four mothers diagnosed with SLE had children with NL (one with dermatologic clinic and the other with cardiac symptoms). These two mothers presented antibodies (Anti-Ro/Anti-La). The other two mothers didn’t present these antibodies, so they had healthy children.
The fifth case was a newborn with a healthy mother, who was diagnosed with NL with dermatological features. After this, the mother was studied and had Anti-Ro/Anti-La antibodies.
No child diagnosed of NL had blood or liver disorders.
Conclusions We should study the children of mothers with SLE, particularly those with positive Anti-Ro/Anti-La antibodies, with the purpose of diagnosis of NL (particularly dermatological, cardiac, haematological and liver features).
If we suspect NL in a child of an asymptomatic mother, the presence of Anti-Ro/Anti-La antibodies in the mother and the newborn should be studies to confirm the diagnosis.