A clinical and epidemiological study on discoid lupus erythematosus


  • Geetharani Gopalan Department of Dermatovenereology, Madurai Medical College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  • Sudha R. Gopinath Department of Dermatovenereology, Madurai Medical College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  • Kothandaramasamy R. Department of Dermatovenereology, Madurai Medical College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  • Sathesh Pandian Department of Dermatovenereology, Madurai Medical College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu




DLE, Lupus nephritis, SLE, Squamous cell carcinoma


Background: Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is the commonest form of cutaneous lupus erythematosus.The objective of our study is to analyze the clinical and epidemiological aspects of DLE.

Methods: All clinically diagnosed cases of DLE attending the dermatology OPD from October 2010 to September 2012were included in the study. A detailed history, complete physical examination, biopsy for confirmation and other relevant investigations were done in all cases.

Results: The incidence was 4.79 per 10000 cases (51 of 106368 dermatology patients) showing female to male ratio of 4.1:1. Localized type was more common than the disseminated type. Few lesions (less than five) in a localized area without head and neck involvement were also classified as localized type in this study. Mucosal, verrucous, tumid and lupus panniculitis were the variants of DLE encountered. The sites involved were face, scalp, trunk, upper and lower limb in descending order of frequency. Antinuclear antibody (ANA) was positive in 22 of 30 cases done (73%). The systemic involvement was seen in 15 patients all of whom were diagnosed as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Squamous cell carcinoma was seen in 2 cases of disseminated DLE.

Conclusions: Majority of patients had disease onset at 3rd to 5th decade showing female predominance. When compared to localized type, disseminated type was found more frequently in males. Early onset and severe disease was noted among offspring born to a patient suffering from disseminated DLE. Serious morbidity like lupus nephritis was observed only in 1 case. The occurrence of DLE over the herpes zoster scar was an interesting observation.

Author Biography

Sudha R. Gopinath, Department of Dermatovenereology, Madurai Medical College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Assistant professor 

Department of Dermatovenereology 

Madurai Medical College 



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Original Research Articles