Evaluation of cerebral perfusion in patients with neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus using 123I-IMP SPECT

Atsuko Yoshida, Fumio Shishido, Kazuo Kato, Hiroshi Watanabe, Osamu Seino
Annals of Nuclear Medicine 2007, 21 (3): 151-8

OBJECTIVE: In the course of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), central nervous system (CNS) complications occur at a high frequency. An accurate diagnosis of CNS lupus, differentiated from secondary CNS involvement, is difficult. CNS lupus is indicative of advancing primary disease and is treated by steroid pulse therapy or increased dosage of steroids. In contrast, if symptoms are caused by secondary CNS complications, it is possible to observe or treat these complications using symptomatic therapy. We examined whether quantitative cerebral blood flow (CBF) measured using cerebral perfusion single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) can be used to differentiate CNS lupus from secondary CNS involvement.

METHODS: We divided 18 SLE patients with CNS symptoms into a CNS lupus group and a non-CNS lupus group, and then compared the mean cerebral blood flow (mCBF) of each group of patients. SPECT was performed with N-isopropyl-p-[123I] iodoamphetamine (IMP), with quantitation carried out by table look-up and autoradiographic methods.

RESULTS: The mCBF of both groups was decreased; however, the mCBF of patients with CNS lupus was significantly lower than that of non-CNS lupus patients.

CONCLUSION: Quantitative CBF may provide a useful tool to distinguish CNS lupus from non-CNS lupus.

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