Investigators Identify Factors and Scoring System to Distinguish Between Central Nervous System Infections and Neuropsychiatric Lupus
In a new study, researchers identified factors to distinguish between central nervous system (CNS) infections and neuropsychiatric lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) in people with the disease and developed a simple scoring system (SSS-8). CNS infections are a fatal complication of lupus and can be easily confused with NPSLE. The two conditions may exhibit similar symptoms and characteristics yet require completely different treatment strategies.
Researchers compared the clinical features and outcomes of infections in a group of 8,491 people with lupus, charting diagnostic clues. Four criteria factors were established as the risk factors for distinguishing CNS infections from NPSLE: longer disease duration, fever, significantly decreased cerebrospinal fluid glucose and absence of hypocomplementemia or deficiency of complement in the blood. They verified the scoring system on a smaller, different group of 22 people with lupus.
The new scoring system may help clinicians to promptly, and more adequately, distinguish CNS infections from NPSLE and improve patient outcomes. Learn about lupus and risk of infections.