Spinal cord involvement and systemic lupus erythematosus: clinical and magnetic resonance findings in 5 patients

Clin Exp Rheumatol. Jul-Aug 1994;12(4):389-94.


We report the clinical, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and laboratory findings in 5 patients with clinical spinal cord involvement with an acute or subacute course; in two of the patients the myelitic episode preceded, in one it was concomitant to, and in two it followed the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The marked clinical and MRI heterogeneity detected in our patients suggests that various factors may be implied in the pathogenesis of spinal cord involvement in SLE. The possibility of a future evolution to SLE should be kept in mind in women presenting spinal cord involvement with no other explanation, and should be assessed by means of extensive and repeated clinical and laboratory evaluations.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelitis, Transverse / etiology*
  • Myelitis, Transverse / pathology
  • Spinal Cord / pathology*