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Lupus. 1996 Apr;5(2):123-8.

Brain calcification in patients with cerebral lupus.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Cerebral lupus (CL) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with SLE. The brain CTs of 27 consecutive adult patients with SLE and various neurological presentations were reviewed. The median age and duration of neurological symptoms at the time of the brain CT were 30 years (range = 14-51 years) and six days (range = 1 day-22 years), respectively. Eleven patients (41%) had normal CTs. The abnormalities in the remaining patients could be divided into six categories: (a) cerebral atrophy alone (two patients); (b) calcification alone (three patients); (c) infarct(s) alone (five patients); (d) cerebral atrophy and calcification (three patients); (e) cerebral atrophy and infarct(s) (one patient) and (f) cerebral atrophy, calcification and infarct(s) (two patients). Altogether eight patients (30%) (age range = 17-47 years) had intracerebral calcification: the globus pallidus was involved in all, putamen in two, head of the caudate nucleus in one, thalamus in one, centrum semiovale in two and cerebellum in three patients. Two patients had extensive calcifications of most of the basal ganglia, centrum semiovale and cerebellum. There was no relationship between the presence/degree of calcification and age of patients/duration or type of neurological presentation. The pathogenesis of cerebral calcification in CL is unknown. Cerebral lupus must now be included in the differential diagnosis of intracerebral calcification.

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