14. Neonatal Lupus Erythematosus

  1. Alan D. Irvine MD, FRCPI, FRCP3,4,
  2. Peter H. Hoeger MD5,6 and
  3. Albert C. Yan MD, FAAP, FAAD7,8
  1. Sara J. Brown BSc, MBChB, MRCP, MD1 and
  2. Rosemarie M. Watson MD, FRCPI, FACP2

Published Online: 24 MAY 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444345384.ch14

Harper's Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 1, 2, Third Edition

Harper's Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 1, 2, Third Edition

How to Cite

Brown, S. J. and Watson, R. M. (2011) Neonatal Lupus Erythematosus, in Harper's Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 1, 2, Third Edition (eds A. D. Irvine, P. H. Hoeger and A. C. Yan), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444345384.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

  2. 4

    Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

  3. 5

    University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

  4. 6

    Catholic Children's Hospital Wilhelmstift, Hamburg, Germany

  5. 7

    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

  6. 8

    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Ninewells Hospital and Division of Molecular Medicine, Medical Sciences Institute, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK

  2. 2

    Department of Dermatology, Our Lady's Childrens Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 MAY 2011
  2. Published Print: 3 JUN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405176958

Online ISBN: 9781444345384



  • annular;
  • anti-Ro;
  • congenital heart block;
  • lupus erythematosus;
  • neonatal;
  • thrombocytopaenia


Neonatal lupus erythematosus is a rare condition, although it is likely to be underdiagnosed because of the transient nature of the cutaneous signs. Recognition and timely diagnosis are of prognostic importance for both baby and mother. Neonatal lupus is characterized by annular and/or diffuse erythematous lesions seen most commonly on the face and scalp, which may occur in association with systemic disease, notably heart block (usually complete heart block) and/or liver dysfunction and/or thrombocytopaenia. Whilst skin lesions are transient, congenital heart block, when complete, is permanent despite interventions to date. The neonatal lupus syndrome is a passively acquired autoimmune disorder, resulting from the transplacental passage of maternal anti-Ro/SSA antibodies with or without anti-La/SSB or rarely anti-RNP antibodies. Treatment is generally supportive, with monitoring and management of systemic complications, avoidance of sun exposure and investigation of the mother for connective tissue disease.