Background: Central nervous system (CNS) involvement has been observed in 14-80% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an appropriate method for evaluating CNS involvement in these patients. Clinical manifestations and MRI findings of CNS lupus should be differentiated from other mimicking diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and extent of brain and cervical cord MRI lesions of lupus patients. The relationship between neurological signs and symptoms and MRI findings were evaluated as well.
Patients and Methods: Fifty SLE patients who had been referred to the rheumatology clinic of our hospital within 2009 were included in a cross sectional study. All patients fulfilled the revised 1981 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for SLE. We evaluated the neurological signs and symptoms and brain and cervical MRI findings in these patients.
Results: Forty-one patients (82%) were female and nine (18%) were male. The mean age was 30.1 ± 9.3 years. Twenty eight (56%) patients had an abnormal brain MRI. No one showed any abnormality in the cervical MRI. The lesions in 20 patients were similar to demyelinative plaques. Seventeen patients with abnormal brain MRI were neurologically asymptomatic. There was only a significant relationship between neurological motor manifestations and brain MRI abnormal findings.
Conclusions: Unlike the brain, cervical MRI abnormality and especially asymptomatic cord involvement in MRI is quite rare in SLE patients. This finding may be helpful to differentiate SLE from other CNS disorders such as MS.
- Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
The article may help radiologists and clinicians to be aware of the CNS involvement in SLE for differentiating it from other CNS disorders such as MS.
- Please cite this paper as:
Harirchian MH, Saberi H, Najafizadeh SR, Hashemi SA. Evaluation of Brain and Cervical MRI Abnormality Rates in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus With or Without Neurological Manifestations. Iran J Radiol. 2011; 8(3):157-60. DOI: 10.5812/kmp.iranjradiol.17351065.3138
Copyright © 2011, Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Iranian
Society of Radiology. Published by Kowsar M.P.Co. All rights reserved.
Lupus Erythematosus Systemic Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Neurologic Manifestations
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