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Open Access Case report

Late–onset systemic lupus erythematosus-associated primary biliary cirrhosis

Sonia Hammami1*, Nabil Chaabane2, Houda Mahmoudi3, Fethia Bdioui2 and Hamouda Saffar2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, CHU. F. Bourguiba, University Hospital F. Bourguiba, University of Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia

2 Department of Gastroenterology CHU. F. Bourguiba, Monastir, Tunisia

3 Department of pathology. CHU. F. Bourguiba, Monastir, Tunisia

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International Archives of Medicine 2013, 6:3  doi:10.1186/1755-7682-6-3

Published: 5 February 2013



The development of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) during the course of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is extremely rare. We report the case of a geriatric woman who was diagnosed with SLE at 69 years of age then with primary biliary cirrhosis one year later.

Case presentation

A 70-years-old woman, who had been diagnosed with SLE at 69 years, was admitted for further examination of liver dysfunction. PBC was confirmed based on elevated serum levels of transaminase, high levels of antimitochondrial antibodies and following a liver biopsy. The oral administration of ursodeoxycholic acid stabilized the liver dysfunction.


We described an original case report of elderly patient with coexisting PBC and SLE. To date, according to the best of our knowledge, there have been few case reports of SLE/PBC co-occurrence. The aetiology of this complex remains unknown, autoimmune mechanisms, environmental and genetic factors are considered important in the susceptibility to both diseases. Osteopontin might play an important role.

Systemic lupus erythematosus; Primary biliary cirrhosis; Antimitochondrial antibodies