Blood pressure and vascular dysfunction underlie elevated cerebral blood flow in systemic lupus erythematosus. Academic Article uri icon


  • In previous studies cerebral blood flow (CBF) was found to be altered in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) compared to controls. We investigated the relationships between CBF and clinical data from subjects with SLE with the aim of determining the pathologic factors underlying altered CBF in SLE.A total of 42 SLE subjects and 19 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were studied. Dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to measure CBF. Patients and controls underwent complete clinical and laboratory evaluations in close proximity with their MRI studies.A higher CBF was present in the SLE group and was independently associated in statistical models with higher systolic blood pressure (SBP; p < 0.01). The intensity of the relationships (slope of curve) between CBF and mean arterial blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, or blood levels of tissue plasminogen activator in the SLE group was significantly blunted relative to the control group.These findings are consistent with an underlying cerebral hyperperfusion in SLE induced by elevated but nonhypertensive levels of SBP. The factors underlying this relationship may be functional and/or structural (atherosclerotic, thrombotic, thromboembolic, or vasculitic) cerebrovascular disease.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012