Pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus (pSLE) is a chronic mutisystemic autoimmune disease with complex clinical manifestations. Although the presentation, clinical manifestations, immunological findings and treatment issues of pSLE are similar to those of adult SLE patients, there are special issues which need to be considered when dealing with SLE in children. During the last decade survival has improved remarkably as a result of earlier diagnosis, recognition of milder disease and better approaches to therapy. However, pSLE remains a potentially serious condition. Although the pathogenesis of SLE remains poorly understood, susceptibility involves a combination of environmental, hormonal and genetic factors. Better understanding of SLE pathogenesis will hopefully lead to more specific and less toxic therapies for this disease.