The natural course of cerebral lesions in Sneddon syndrome

Arch Neurol. 1997 Jan;54(1):53-60. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1997.00550130037013.


Objectives: To characterize the clinical, biological, and neuroradiological findings in Sneddon syndrome; to correlate magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities with disability, presence of hypertension and other vascular risk factors, presence of heart valvulopathy on echography, and titer of antiphospholipid antibodies; and to compare these findings in antiphospholipid-positive and antiphospholipid-negative patients.

Design: Retrospective review of the records of 32 consecutive patients with livedo reticularis and neurological events, followed up in our institution between January 1991 and August 1995.

Patients: Twenty-six patients (20 women and 6 men) who had at least 1 cerebral ischemic arterial event associated with generalized and pathological livedo reticularis.

Results: The age at the first cerebral ischemic event ranged from 22 to 58 years. Motor deficit was the most frequent sign (found in 73% of cases). Disability was found in 50%, systemic hypertension in 65%, heart valvulopathy in 61%, and antiphospholipid antibodies in 42% of cases. Patients were classified in 6 groups according to magnetic resonance imaging findings. No correlation was found between the presence of hypertension or other vascular risk factors, valvulopathy, antiphospholipids, and magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities. There was no significant difference between antiphospholipid-positive and antiphospholipid-negative patients except for the presence of antinuclear antibodies. There was a significant correlation between the extent of magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities and disability.

Conclusion: The severity of the disease seems to be correlated with magnetic resonance imaging aspects, but not to the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. Magnetic resonance imaging may help to understand the natural course of the cerebral involvement of the disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid / analysis
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Diseases / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / diagnosis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement Disorders / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sneddon Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Sneddon Syndrome / immunology


  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid