Methods: Consecutive patients attending a clinic for SLE were recruited. All patients underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging; had blood samples taken for markers of inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, cholesterol, and autoantibodies; and underwent cognitive and psychiatric testing. The data were compared with sex- and age-matched healthy controls and patients with minor stroke. Features of SVD were measured, a total SVD score calculated, and associations sought with vascular risk factors, cognition, SLE activity, and disease duration.
Results: Fifty-one SLE patients (age: 48.8 years; SD: 14.3 years) had a greater total SVD score compared with healthy controls (1 versus 0; P<0.0001) and stroke patients (1 versus 0; P=0.02). There were higher perivascular spaces and deep white matter hyperintensity scores and more superficial brain atrophy in SLE patients versus healthy controls. Despite fewer vascular risk factors than similarly aged stroke patients, SLE patients had similar or more of some SVD features. The total SVD score was not associated with SLE activity, cognition, disease duration, or any blood measure.
Conclusions: In this data set, SLE patients had a high burden of SVD features on magnetic resonance imaging, particularly perivascular spaces. A larger longitudinal study is warranted to determine the causes of SVD features in SLE and clinical implications.
Brain Network Measures and Spatial Lesion Distribution in a Sample of 47 Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
- Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences
- MRC Human Genetics Unit
- Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic
- Deanery of Clinical Sciences - Professor of Neuroinflammatory Medicine
- Centre for Regenerative Medicine
- Edinburgh Neuroscience
- Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research
- Edinburgh Imaging
Person: Academic: Research Active