Systemic lupus erythematosus presenting with ‘rheumatoid nodules’
A patient with systemic lupus erythermatosus who presented with subcutaneous nodules over the flexor aspect of the fingers in association with arthritis and Raynaud's phenomenon is described. Histopathological examination of the nodules showed appearances consistent with rheumatoid nodules. Further investigations revealed leucopenia and circulating anti-nuclear antibody but negative rheumatoid factor. Immunofluorescence studies of normal non-light exposed skin showed the presence of IgM deposits at the dermo-epidermal junction consistent with systemic lupus erythematosus. The nodules almost disappeared following treatment with hydroxychloroquine. Rheumatoid-like nodules have been reported in systemic lupus erythematosus, although rarely. However, the distribution of the nodules and the patient's clinical course differ from the few cases previously reported in the literature.