Catatonia and systemic lupus erythematosus: a clinical study of three cases

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2009 Jan-Feb;31(1):90-2. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2008.06.010. Epub 2008 Jul 31.


Catatonia may be encountered in psychiatric disorders, but also in general medical conditions. Cases of catatonia associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are rare. Several articles have described this symptomatic association, as well as its management, using electroconvulsive therapy, plasma exchange or benzodiazepines. We report three cases here of patients who presented with catatonia during a lupus relapse, in whom treatment with lorazepam improved the catatonic symptomatology, thus allowing the associated condition to be treated. We touch on several points about the diagnosis, etiology and treatment of catatonia, when it is associated with SLE.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use
  • Catatonia* / diagnosis
  • Catatonia* / drug therapy
  • Catatonia* / etiology
  • Catatonia* / physiopathology
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Lorazepam / administration & dosage
  • Lorazepam / therapeutic use
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Psychological / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Lorazepam