A CHALLENGING CASE OF NEUROPSYCHIATRIC SYSTEMATIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS WITH RECURRENT ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID-RELATED STROKE: A CASE REPORT AND LITERATURE REVIEW
1 Changhua Christian Hospital, Department of Neurology
2 Dayeh University, Department of Medicinal Botanicals and Health Application
Neuropsychiatic systematic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) is a form of SLE involves the inflammation and/or thrombotic event in the nervous system. Patients with NPSLE are likely to have a positive antiphospholipid antibody (aPL), therefore are at higher risk of recurrent ischemic stroke. The management of NPSLE with aPL-related stroke is rather different from the traditional ischemic stroke. One must treat it with anticoagulation and immunosuppressive therapy. The present case is a 47-year-old Taiwanese female with NPSLE and positive aPL, presented with a recurrent MCA ischemic stroke. Initial laboratory results showed significantly elevated levels of anti-ANA, anti-dsDNA, anti-cardiolipin, and decreased complement levels. Due to multiple contraindications for tPA, she was treated with antiplatelet, anticoagulation, steroid pulse therapy, and plasmapheresis during the hospitalization. Despite treatments, her stroke progressed to multi-focal lesions, involving the ACA, MCA, and basal ganglion. On follow up of her brain CT scan showed tissue edema and suspicious for subfalcine herniation. Responding to this clinical deterioration, we stopped warfarin and started mannitol. Eventually, her condition improved and was transferred to the rehabilitation program.
Currently, there is no unified guideline regarding the secondary prevention of ischemic stroke in NPSLE with aPL patients. Additionally, previously reported use of steroid pulse therapy and plasmapheresis can potentially harm the patient. Clinicians must be cautious when treating such patient.