Spin-spin relaxation of brain tissues in systemic lupus erythematosus. A method for increasing the sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging for neuropsychiatric lupus

Arthritis Rheum. 1995 Jun;38(6):810-8. doi: 10.1002/art.1780380615.


Objective: To correlate the spin-spin relaxation time (T2) of brain tissue in neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) with the patient's clinical condition.

Methods: T2 values were determined in 54 SLE patients and 45 non-SLE controls at 1.5 Tesla, using intensity from multi-echo magnetic resonance (MR) images fitted to an exponential decay curve with rate-constant T2.

Results: The T2 of white matter was increased in SLE patients compared with controls (P = 0.01) and was increased in those patients who had previously experienced major NPSLE: Patients with acute diffuse neurologic manifestations (seizures, psychosis, coma) demonstrated a longer T2 of the gray matter (mean +/- SD 92.75 +/- 6.35 ms, n = 10) than did other SLE patients (mean +/- SD 79.61 +/- 5.04 ms, n = 44) (P = 0.02 by t-test), which suggests acute cerebral edema. The mean T2 values of reversible and nonreversible focal lesions were significantly different (P < 0.02), indicating different microenvironments and micropathology.

Conclusion: Quantitative T2 measurement extends the utility and sensitivity of conventional MR imaging for evaluating NPSLE:

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Edema / diagnosis
  • Brain Edema / pathology
  • Child
  • Coma / diagnosis
  • Coma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards
  • Middle Aged
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Seizures / pathology
  • Time Factors