Longitudinally Extensive Transverse Myelitis in a Lupus-Neuromyelitis Optica Overlap

Yonit Tavor, Moshe Herskovitz, Galia Ronen, Alexandra Balbir-Gurman
Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal 2021 January 19, 12 (1)
Transverse myelitis is an inflammatory lesion of the spinal cord, occurring in different autoimmune, infectious, and traumatic diseases but is the hallmark of neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a rare neurologic autoimmune disease. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may develop transverse myelitis as a neuropsychiatric complication of active disease; however, at times, NMO co-exists as an additional primary autoimmune condition in a SLE patient. Correct diagnosis of a SLE-NMO overlap is important not only for the different disease course and prognosis compared with SLE-related LETM, but especially for the emerging and highly specific NMO treatment options, not established for SLE-related LETM-such as anti-aquaporin 4 antibodies, anti-VEGF antibodies, complement modulation, or IVIg.

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