Send to

Choose Destination
J Rheumatol. 2009 Jul;36(7):1449-59. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.081133. Epub 2009 May 15.

Prospective study of neuropsychiatric events in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Author information

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine and Department of Pathology, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre and Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4K4, Canada.



To prospectively examine neuropsychiatric (NP) events and their association with health related quality of life (HRQOL) over time in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).


In an observational cohort study from a single academic center, NP events and their attribution were identified at enrollment and at annual assessments for up to 7 years. NP events were characterized using the American College of Rheumatology case definitions; other variables were global SLE disease activity and cumulative organ damage. The outcomes of NP events were recorded and self-report HRQOL was measured with the mental (MCS) and physical (PCS) component summary scores of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36.


There were 209 patients, 88% female and 92% Caucasian, with a mean (standard deviation) age of 43.7 (13.8) years. Followup was available in 175/209 (84%) patients. There were 299 NP events in 132/209 (63%) patients over a mean followup of 3.6 (2.5) years. Thirty-one percent of NP events in 54 patients were attributed to SLE. Multivariate analysis indicated lower MCS scores in patients with NP events compared to those without events (p < 0.001) regardless of attribution. The group means for PCS scores were significantly lower in patients with NP events (p < 0.001) regardless of attribution. There was no association between HRQOL and cumulative organ damage, nor between NP events and the progression of organ damage.


The association of lower HRQOL with NP events over time, which is independent of progression in cumulative organ damage, emphasizes the persistent negative effect of NP events in the lives of patients with SLE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center