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Lupus. 2008 Feb;17(2):93-9. doi: 10.1177/0961203307085671.

Clinical features and outcome of neuropsychiatric lupus in Chinese: analysis of 240 hospitalized patients.

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Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China.


Neuropsychiatric (NP) events are severe manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and relate to poor outcome. The aims of this study are to investigate the NP manifestations of SLE and to identify the predictive factors for clinical outcome. There was a retrospective review of 240 hospital patients with primary NP events of SLE (NPSLE) from 1990 to 2004. Neuropsychiatric manifestations, SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) score, System lupus International Collaborating Clinic/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index (SLICC/ACR-DI) score, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, treatment and mortality rate were included for analysis. From this group of patients, 15 NP syndromes were identified. The most frequent manifestation was headache, followed by seizure. The mean SLEDAI and SLICC/ACR-DI scores were 19.9 +/- 6.9 and 3.5 +/- 1.6, respectively. Abnormal MRI features were found in 67% (61/91) patients. At least one intrathecal (IT) injection of methotrexate (MTX) plus dexamethasone (DXM) was administered to 109 (45.4%) patients. High dose (1 g) intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy (IVMP) was administered to 167 (69.5%) patients. Multifactor analysis revealed that high SLICC/ACR-DI scores and sets of concurrent NP symptoms were independently associated with poor outcome, whereas pulse IVMP and IT injection of MTX plus DXM were protective factors against poor outcome. From our data, NPSLE is heterogeneous and is usually associated with high disease activity and organ damage scores. High SLICC/ACR-DI score and having more than two sets of NP symptoms are the predictors for poor outcome, whereas pulse IVMP and IT injection of MTX plus DXM can improve the prognosis.

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