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Brain Scan Findings in Central Nervous System Involvement by Lupus Erythematosus

DAVID A. BENNAHUM, M.D.; RONALD P. MESSNER, M.D.; and JON D. SHOOP, M.D.
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Grant support: grants AM 13789-04 and AM 70301-01, National Institute for Arthritis and Metabolic Disease.

Presented at the American Rheumatism Association National Meeting, 8-9 June 1973, Los Angeles, California.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to David A. Bennahum, M.D., Bernalillo County Medical Center, General Medicine Clinic, 1st floor, 2211 Lomas Blvd., N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87106.


Albuquerque, New Mexico


Ann Intern Med. 1974;81(6):763-765. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-81-6-763
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Brain scans were done on 10 women, from 15 to 42 years old, with active systemic lupus erythematosus. Eleven of 12 scans done on the six patients with clinical evidence of active central nervous system disease were abnormal. All eight scans done on the four patients free of neurologic symptoms were normal (chi-square, P < 0.001). Serial studies in three patients, one of whom had three episodes of central nervous system lupus erythematosus during 2 years, showed a close correlation between changes on brain scan and the clinical manifestations of this disease. These data suggest that the brain scan may be a rapid and sensitive tool in the diagnosis of cerebral lupus erythematosus and that studies correlating this test with other markers of lupus cerebritis, such as spinal fluid complement and IgG levels, are called for.

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