Diffusion tensor imaging in neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus

BMC Neurol. 2010 Jul 28;10:65. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-10-65.


Background: Neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

Methods: We used Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) to assess white matter abnormalities in seventeen NPSLE patients, sixteen SLE patients without NPSLE, and twenty age- and gender-matched controls.

Results: NPSLE patients differed significantly from SLE and control patients in white matter integrity of the body of the corpus callosum, the left arm of the forceps major and the left anterior corona radiata.

Conclusions: Several possible mechanisms of white matter injury are explored, including vascular injury, medication effects, and platelet or fibrin macro- or microembolism from Libman-Sacks endocarditis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Anisotropy
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology
  • Lupus Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / pathology*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology
  • Neural Pathways / pathology