Eighty-seven patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were retrospectively studied in King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh. There were 78 females and 9 males (F:M ratio of 9:1). The mean age (+/- SD) at onset and at diagnosis were 25.3 +/- 10.5 and 28.5 +/- 10.9 years, respectively, with peak incidence in the 20-30 year age group. Musculoskeletal (91%), constitutional (76%), cutaneous (72%) and renal (63%) manifestations occurred most frequently, while neuropsychiatric manifestations (26%), photosensitivity (26%) and oral ulcers (16%) were relatively less frequent. The most common laboratory abnormalities included ANA (98%), anti-DNA (93%), LE cells (66%) and lymphopenia (70%). There were seven deaths during the study period and most of them were related to renal failure and complications from infections. Overall, the pattern of SLE observed in the series was comparable to that observed in other series among Caucasians.