PURPOSE: To use perfusion weighted MR to quantify any perfusion abnormalities and to determine their contribution to neuropsychiatric (NP) involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We applied dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) perfusion MRI in 15 active NPSLE, 26 inactive NPSLE patients, and 11 control subjects. Cerebral blood flow (CBF), cerebral blood volume (CBV), and mean transit time (MTT) maps were reconstructed and regions of interest were compared between groups. In addition, the effect of SLE criteria, NPSLE syndromes, immunological coagulation disorder, and medication on CBF, CBV, and MTT was investigated.
RESULTS: No significant differences were found between the groups in CBF, CBV, and MTT. No significant influence of SLE criteria or NPSLE syndromes on CBF, CBV, or MTT was found. No significant influence of anti-cardiolipin antibodies, lupus anti-coagulant, the presence of anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS), or medication on CBF, CBV, or MTT was found.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest CBF, CBV, and MTT in the white and the gray matter in SLE patients is not significantly different from healthy controls or between patients with and without specific symptoms or with and without immunological disorder involving coagulation.