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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-93

Upper extremity subclinical autonomic and peripheral neuropathy in systemic lupus erythematosus

Department of Physical Medicine and Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Mahmoud M Fathalla
Department of Physical Medicine and Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-161X.157868

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Background Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune, multiorgan disease that affects connective tissues of many organs or systems, including the nervous system, where it affects the autonomic, the peripheral, and the central nervous system. Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the association of subclinical autonomic and peripheral neuropathy with SLE and to correlate neurophysiological parameters with clinical and laboratory data. Patients and methods Fifty-six SLE patients were included in this study. In addition, thirty age-matched and sex-matched healthy participants served as a control group. Exclusion criteria included patients having symptoms or signs indicating autonomic dysfunction or peripheral neuropathy. Also, endocrinal, toxic, compression, and traumatic neuropathies were excluded. Patients were assessed clinically and by laboratory investigations. Neurophysiological assessment included sympathetic skin response of the median nerve including latency and amplitude. In addition, nerve conduction study of both median and ulnar nerves was performed including motor distal latency, amplitude, nerve conduction velocity, and distal sensory latency. Results Pure sensory abnormality was detected in one patient, whereas pure motor neuropathy was found in 19 patients. Mixed sensory-motor abnormalities were detected in two patients. Sympathetic skin response was not elicited in 13 patients, whereas latency and amplitude abnormalities were detected in 11/43 and 9/43 patients, respectively. Sympathetic and axonal neuropathy was not correlated with the disease duration or the disease activity. Conclusion The pattern of neuropathy in SLE is mainly axonal. Also, the sympathetic nervous system is affected in lupus patients with a rate of up to 40% of the cases.

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