We report a 12 years old female patient with an overlap syndrome involving autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The patient presented with jaundice, hepatosplenomegaly, malaise, polyarthralgia, arthritis and butterfly rash on the face. Laboratory tests revealed severe liver dysfunction, Coombs positive hemolytic anemia and a positive ANA/anti-dsDNA test. Renal biopsy showed class IIA kidney disease, while liver biopsy showed chronic hepatitis with severe inflammatory activity. The patient satisfied the international criteria for both SLE and AIH. Clinical symptoms and laboratory findings of SLE improved with high dose treatment with corticosteroids and azathioprine, however, remission of the liver disease could not be achieved. Repeat biopsy of the liver after three years of therapy revealed ongoing chronic hepatitis with high level of inflammatory activity. The present case indicates that children with liver dysfunction and SLE should be investigated for AIH. There is much diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma in patients with AIH-SLE overlap syndrome. (C) 2007 The WJG Press. All rights reserved.