Neurologic characteristics of childhood lupus erythematosus

Sanjay Parikh, Kenneth F Swaiman, Youngki Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Records of 108 patients with lupus erythematosus beginning in childhood (1953-1990) were reviewed; 25 had recorded neurologic findings. This is the largest group of childhood lupus erythematosus patients with neurologic disease that has been reported. The average age of children at the time of diagnosis of lupus was 154 months. There were 22 girls and 3 boys in the group. All patients met at least four of the 1982 American Rheumatism Association criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Average age at onset of neurologic difficulties was 168 months. In 4 patients, the neurologic symptoms preceded the diagnosis: 1 month (spastic diplegia), 1 month (bilateral weakness and spasticity), 24 months (chorea), and 26 months (chorea), respectively. Four patients had neurologic symptoms coincident with the diagnosis of lupus erythematosus. In those patients whose symptoms followed the diagnosis of lupus erythematosus, the average elapsed time until symptoms appeared was 33 months; the single lowest and highest outliers were discounted. Most frequent findings were headache ( 16 25) and behavioral aberrations ( 10 25). All behavioral manifestations were depression except in 1 patient. Other prevalent findings included hemichorea or chorea ( 7 25), cerebrovascular accident with hemiplegia or diplegia ( 7 25), seizures ( 5 25), visual loss ( 3 25), and cranial neuropathy ( 2 25). Vertigo and myelopathy occurred in 1 patient each. All patients were treated primarily with corticosteroids and azathioprine; in the presence of active disease, the drug dosages were increased with significant improvement in neurologic symptoms. Resolution usually occurred from days to months; most improved in a few days to a few weeks; 3-4 months was the longest period until symptoms subsided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-201
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1995

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Neurologic characteristics of childhood lupus erythematosus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this