Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome in a patient with lupus nephritis

Huseyin Kadikoy, Waqar Haque, Vu Hoang, Joseph Maliakkal, John Nisbet, Abdul Abdellatif
Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation 2012, 23 (3): 572-6
Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is characterized by acute onset of headache, nausea, focal neurological deficits or seizures along with radiological findings of white matter defects in the parietal and occipital lobes. Causes of PRES include uremia, hypertensive encephalopathy, eclampsia and immunosuppressive medications. Usually, the treatment of choice involves correcting the underlying abnormality. We describe an unusual case of recurrent PRES caused by uremia during a lupus flare in a patient with biopsy-proven Class IV Lupus Nephritis (LN) with vasculitis. PRES in systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE) is a rare clinical phenomenon and, when reported, it is associated with hypertensive encephalopathy. Our patient did not have hypertensive crisis, but had uremic encephalopathy. The patient's PRES-related symptoms resolved after initiation of hemodialysis. The temporal correlation of the correction of the uremia and the resolution of the symptoms of PRES show the etiology to be uremic encephalopathy, making this the first reported case of uremia-induced PRES in Class IV LN with vasculitis.

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