Numerous tubuloreticular structures were seen on electron microscopic examination of involved and uninvolved skin of a neonate with lupus erythematosus. The patient had characteristic lupus skin lesions at birth that worsened for three months, and then gradually subsided. Their course was associated with systemic illness. Skin biopsy specimen was diagnostic. Direct immunofluorescence of the skin showed no abnormalities. Abnormal serological findings were noted in the mother, who had no overt clinical disease. The significance of these virus-like structures in lupus erythematosus is emphasized by the present case.
(JAMA 235:2743-2744, 1976)