The incidence and prevalence of neuropsychiatric syndromes in pediatric onset systemic lupus erythematosus. Academic Article uri icon


  • To determine the incidence and prevalence of neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) and glomerulonephritis in ethnically diverse pediatric onset SLE inpatient and outpatient populations.Seventy-five pediatric onset patients with SLE including Native American, Asian, Black, Spanish-American, and Caucasian subjects were evaluated prospectively and cross sectionally. During the 6 year study, 55 patients became inpatients. Subjects underwent medical interview, physical examination, laboratory review, neuropsychiatric inventory, and chart review. Classification of NPSLE was accomplished with the 1999 ACR NPSLE case definitions.Prospectively, NPSLE occurred in 95% of pediatric SLE patients and was more common than glomerulonephritis (55%; p < or = 0.0001). NPSLE prevalence (%) and incidence (event/person/yr) were as follows: headache 72%, 95; mood disorder 57%, 0.41; cognitive disorder 55%, 0.49; seizure disorder 51%, 0.94; acute confusional state 35%, 0.6; anxiety disorder 21%, 0.28; peripheral nervous system disorder 15%, 0.16; cerebrovascular disease 12%, 0.32; psychosis 12%, 0.16; chorea 7%, 0.01; demyelinating syndrome 4%, 0.01; and myelopathy 1%, 0.001. Cross sectionally, active NPSLE was present in 93% of inpatients and 69% of outpatients. When only serious forms of NPSLE were considered (stroke, seizures, major cognitive disorder, chorea, psychosis, major depression, acute confusional state), serious or life-threatening NPSLE occurred in 76% of all SLE subjects prospectively, and in 85% and 40% of inpatients and outpatients cross sectionally, which in each instance was more common than glomerulonephritis (p < or = 0.001).NPSLE is one of the most common serious complications of pediatric SLE, and is particularly increased in pediatric inpatients.

publication date

  • July 2002