Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem chronic inflammatory disease with a broad spectrum of clinical and serological manifestations. Although articular involvement is known in SLE, articular cartilage has not been studied before. Therefore, in this study, we have evaluated the femoral cartilage by using ultrasonography. Twenty-nine SLE patients (5 M, 24 F) with a mean age of 37.93 +/- A 10.66 years and mean disease duration of 3.69 +/- A 3.24 years and 29 age-, gender- and body mass index-matched healthy subjects were enrolled. Demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients were recorded. The thickness of the femoral articular cartilage was measured by using a 7- to 12-MHz linear probe. Three mid-point measurements were taken from each knee; from right lateral condyle, right intercondylar area (RIA), right medial condyle (RMC), left medial condyle, left intercondylar area (LIA) and left lateral condyle (LLC). Although SLE patients had thicker femoral cartilage values than those of the control group at all measurement sites, the differences were not statistically significant (all p > 0.05). Twenty-two patients (75.9 %) were using corticosteroids, and when those patients were compared with their healthy controls, the difference reached statistical significance at RIA (p = 0.022), LIA (p = 0.059) and LLC (p = 0.029). We found that SLE patients seem to have thicker femoral cartilage values and that this increase could be related with corticosteroid treatment. In addition to studies that have shown the favorable effects of corticosteroids on chondrogenesis, further studies are needed to clarify the scenario in SLE patients.