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Anales de la Facultad de Medicina

On-line version ISSN 2301-1254


DELFINO, Marcos; GARCIA, Sofía; SUAREZ, Rodrigo  and  GUTIERREZ, Stella. Epstein barr virus infection and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) debut in an adolescent. Anfamed [online]. 2022, vol.9, n.2, e404.  Epub Dec 01, 2022. ISSN 2301-1254.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), prototype of autoimmune disease, progresses with flares and remissions. Given the diversity of possible presentations, its diagnosis and treatment are a challenge for the clinician, and a high index of suspicion is required.


To present the clinical case of an adolescent who debuted with SLE in the form of hemolytic anemia, probably triggered by Epstein Barr virus infection.

Clinical case:

14 - year - old male, with no history to highlight. Consultation for fever of 7 days of evolution of up to 39º C, odynophagia, asthenia and adynamia. Physical examination revealed mucous skin pallor, jaundice, cervical lymphadenopathy, and hepatosplenomegaly. The laboratory shows severe regenerative anemia with increased bilirubin at the expense of indirect without hepatitis. Positive Coombs test. Specific antibodies for Epstein Barr were positive, with which hemolytic anemia secondary to mononucleosis was diagnosed and corticosteroid treatment was started. In the evolution, it adds malar erythema and limitation in flexion of the elbows and knees. Positive antinuclear and anti-native DNA antibodies are received with severe hypocomplementemia. With a diagnosis of SLE, hydroxychloroquine and azathioprine were started, maintaining prednisone.


Many viruses (hepatitis C, Parvovirus B19, Epstein Barr and Cytomegalovirus) have been described as possible inducers or mimics of SLE. It is necessary to maintain a high index of suspicion for timely diagnosis and early treatment.

Keywords : Adolescent medicine; hemolytic anemia; infectious mononucleosis; systemic lupus erythematosus..

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