The evaluation of neuropsychiatric lupus erythematosus by functional neuroimaging. Preliminary results

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M. Padovan *
A. Locaputo
N. Rizzo
M. Govoni
F. Trotta
(*) Corresponding Author:
M. Padovan |


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the performance of functional neuro-imaging for describe neurological involvement in Lupus Erithematosus Systemicus. Methods. 20 SLE patients were included into this study (18 females / 2 males). Median age was 40.5 years (range 16 –66 ys), 9 patients with a clear neurological involvement, 7 with aspecific neurological symptoms and 4 were asymptomatics, according to 1999 ACR Classification. All patients were underwent to conventional resonance imaging (RMFLAIR), RM perfusion ( RM-PWI), RM diffusion (RM-DWI) and cerebral SPECT. The RM techniques was performed using a 1 Tesla “Signa-Horizon” Tomograph by General Eletric: The data analysis was performed from two indipendent neuroradiologist and than trough coordinated evalutation after coregistration of acquired volumes. Results: In 11/20 patients (55%) lesions were demonstrated in RM-FLAIR evaluation, more frequent in cases with focal symptoms than in diffuse. RM-PWI was positive in 50% of cases. SPECT analysis was altered in 85 % of patients. In all patients RM-DWI evaluation was negative. 5 of 29 lesional areas (3 patients) showed by SPECT analysis were positive in RM-PWI. None of them was positive in RM-FLAIR study. After coordinated evaluation of RM-FLAIR, SPECT and RM-PWI, 7 findings were considered false positive. 6 Of patients with negative RM-FLAIR were positive in SPECT and 3 in RM-PWI. Only 1 patient was positive in SPECT and RM-PWI. Conclusions: According to the literature, the RM-FLAIR is a very sensitive procedure to describe the lesional charge, especially in patients with focal symptoms. All lesions was considered as stable outcomes due to negativity of RM-DWI analysis. The SPECT is a sensitive technique to individuate cerebral areas of altered perfusion. The coregistration seems to be an helpful method to improve the explanation of uncertain cases. e the sections are prepared for the microscopic analysis of the various histomorphometric parameters.

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