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Pattern of peripheral neuropathy in systemic lupus erythematosus: clinical, electrophysiological, and laboratory properties and their association with disease activity

Abstract

Aim

To study clinical, electrophysiological, and laboratory properties of peripheral neuropathy (PN) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and their association with disease activity.

Patients and methods

A totalof 30 patients who met the American College of Rheumatology case definition criteria for SLE-PN and 30 age-matched and sex-matched patients with SLE without PN were selected from the Main Alexandria University Hospital Physical Medicine, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation clinic. Demographic data, SLE-related clinical, laboratory data, Systemic Lupus Activity Measure (SLAM) index, and nerve conduction studies were done. This case–control study compared clinical and SLE-related features, laboratory, and SLAM index in patients with SLE with PN versus those without neuropathy.

Results

The results showed that the most common PN subtype was sensorimotor polyneuropathy which occurred in 18 (60%) patients; the most common PN pathology was axonal degeneration, which occurred 19 (63.3%) patients; and the most common associated nerve entrapment was carpal tunnel syndrome in 10 (33.3%) patients. In comparison between group I (SLE with PN) and group II (SLE without PN), there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups regarding demographic data, disease duration, and lupus clinical features, except malar rash and lupus nephritis, which showed significant increase in patients with SLE with PN compared with patients with SLE without PN (P=0.003 and P<0.001, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference among PN subtype groups regarding sex, age, and immunological markers. Regarding diseases activity, SLAM index showed a significant increase in patients with SLE with PN compared with patients with SLE without PN (P=0.006).

Conclusion

The pattern of neuropathy in SLE is mainly axonal. Moreover, the most common PN subtype is sensorimotor polyneuropathy. The study suggests significant association of PN in patients with SLE with nephritis, malar rash, and SLAM index.

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Correspondence to Niveen Abdallah Ibrahim MBBCh.

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Imam, M.H., Koriem, H.K., Hassan, M.M. et al. Pattern of peripheral neuropathy in systemic lupus erythematosus: clinical, electrophysiological, and laboratory properties and their association with disease activity. Egypt Rheumatol Rehabil 46, 285–298 (2019). https://doi.org/10.4103/err.err_28_19

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/err.err_28_19

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