Neuropsychiatric manifestations and antiphospholipid antibodies in pediatric onset lupus: 14 years of experience from a tertiary center of North India

Surjit Singh, Mukesh Kumar Gupta, Jasmina Ahluwalia, Paramjeet Singh, Prahbhjot Malhi
Rheumatology International 2009, 29 (12): 1455-61
The objective is to study the neuropsychiatric (NP) manifestations in pediatric onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at a tertiary care hospital of northwestern India applying American College of Rheumatology (ACR) case definitions in the context of occurrence of antiphospholipid antibodies (APLA). Data of 53 children with SLE were analyzed for NP syndromes. Tests for detection of APLA were performed as per international standards for quality control. Twenty-seven of the 53 (50.94%) children with lupus had at least one NP manifestation. The male to female ratio of our cohort of pediatric lupus was 1:2.8. However, there was significant male preponderance in patients with NPSLE as compared to patients without NPSLE (1:1.25 vs. 1:12; P < 0.0001). Majority of children with NPSLE (15/27, 55.5%) already had NP manifestations at the time of diagnosis and most of them (81.5%) had experienced more than one NP symptom. Headache was the commonest NP manifestation and was seen in 39.6% children with SLE followed by seizure disorder (35.8%) and cognitive dysfunction (16.9%). Tests for APLA were carried out in 37 of 53 (69.8%) patients with SLE and in 24 of 27 (88.8%) patients with NPSLE. While anticardiolipin antibodies were seen more frequently in children with NPSLE as compared to those without NPSLE (57.8 vs. 23%), lupus anticoagulant was more frequent in children without NPSLE (53.8 vs. 34.7%). However, these differences were statistically not significant. Eleven of the 27 children with NPSLE succumbed to their illness, primarily due to uncontrolled disease activity. Mean duration of follow-up of patients with NPSLE who are alive was 65.4 +/- 36.9 months. NP manifestations are common in pediatric onset lupus and contribute to significant morbidity. As compared to previously published literature, a significantly greater proportion of boys were affected. APLA were frequently detected in children with NPSLE. There is paucity of literature pertaining to NP manifestations of pediatric lupus in the context of APLA, especially with regard to antibodies to beta-2 glycoprotein I. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first detailed study on NP manifestations in childhood lupus from a developing country applying ACR case definitions.

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