BACKGROUND: Recurrent annular erythema associated with anti-Ro (SSA) or anti-La (SSB) antibodies has been recognized as a unique cutaneous manifestation of Sj gren's syndrome or Sj gren's syndrome/SLE overlap syndrome in Orientals. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical, histological and serological aspects of recurrent annular erythema in the korean patients with Sj gren's syndrome and/or lupus erythematosus-like features. METHODS: This clinical investigation was carried out on 6 outpatients with this disorder who had visited Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University Hospital, from January 1996 to December 2003. RESULTS: These patients (four females, two males; range of age, 24-60 years, median 45 years) had relatively well demarcated annular erythematous plaques mainly on trunk and extremities. Two-thirds of the patients were anti-Ro positive and one-third was anti-La positive. Biopsy specimens revealed a moderate degree of perivascular and periappendageal lymphocytic infiltration throughout dermis. Other features to suggest LE were not demonstrated. Four patients were treated with oral hydroxychloroquine with good response. CONCLUSION: Although all 6 patients showed annular erythema associated with anti-Ro or anti-La antibodies, only two could be diagnosed as Sj gren's syndrome/SLE overlap syndrome. The other four presented with LE-like features such as photosensitivity, nephropathy and arthralgia.
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