Objective: To examine the reliability and validity of the proposed American College of Rheumatology (ACR) neuropsychological battery for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods: Thirty-one SLE patients with a history of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPSLE), 22 SLE patients without a history of neuropsychiatric symptoms (non-NPSLE), and 25 healthy controls completed measures of cognition at baseline and after 1 month. The 1-hour proposed ACR-SLE battery was compared with a 4-hour comprehensive battery (CB).
Results: Seven of 12 measures from the ACR-SLE battery were lower in SLE patients compared with controls. Overall agreement between impairment on the ACR-SLE battery and the CB was 90%. This was established using previously defined impairment on the CB and 4 of 12 scores impaired on the ACR-SLE battery. Almost perfect agreement between the 2 batteries was found for non-NPSLE patients and healthy controls (95-96%) and moderate agreement was reported for NPSLE patients (81%). Intraclass correlation coefficients for ACR-SLE tests ranged from 0.40 to 0.90, indicating adequate reliability.
Conclusion: Reliability and validity of the ACR-SLE battery was established in this study. Agreement regarding classification for impairment was almost perfect for non-NPSLE and moderate for the NPSLE patients. The ACR battery is well designed for general classification of cognitive impairment in SLE. However, comprehensive testing may be useful in identifying specific deficits in NPSLE.