Objectives The authors determined the extent of central nervous system affection in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) by the means of brain magnetic resonance (MR). The results were correlated with the controls and the results were compared statistically.
Methods Brain MR investigation was made by the routine protocol (T1 and T2 weighted images, FLAIR mode, transversal and sagittal scans) in 1,5T MR machine. 60 patients of all 3 groups (SLE, MS and controls) were investigated. The patients were divided into 3 groups due to the age distribution: 18–39, 40–49, 50 and more years.
Results In the patients with neuropsychiatric lupus the focal white matter hyperintensities in FLAIR mode were the most common findings. Their distribution was most often present in frontal and parietal lobes, where the average numbers of foci were 9,8, resp. 8,4. While in occipital and temporal lobes lobes the average numbers of foci were significantly lower, it appeared 2,2, resp. 2,3. Among SLE patients aged from 50 to 59 years the focal hyperintensities were the most common (the average number of foci was 8,4), which was statistically significant in comparison with both other age groups of patients. The distribution of focal hyperintensities in control group appeared different.
Conclusion MR method is the most sensitive method for establishing the central nervous system involvement in SLE patients. The number of focal hyperintensities was determined to be statistically different between SLE controls in all three age groups.
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