A case of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder with coexisting systemic lupus erythematosus Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Sangani, Vikram; Pokal, Mytri; Balla, Mamtha; Merugu, Ganesh P; Adapa, Sreedhar; Naramala, Srikanth; Konala, Venu M


  • Neuromyelitis Optica or Devic disease is changed to Neuromyelitis Optica spectrum disorder to include more diverse neurological and autoimmune manifestations. This is a severe relapsing autoimmune demyelinating disorder commonly affecting the optic nerve and spinal cord. It has been reported as either the first manifestation of SLE or as a coexisting condition with other autoimmune disorders commonly included but not limited to SLE and SS. We discussed a case of a 49-year-old female patient who was initially presented with a left-sided weakness that rapidly progressed to quadriparesis and bladder dysfunction within a few days. She had positive autoimmune serology tests for SLE posing a diagnostic challenge as SLE is associated with neurological manifestations. Due to a lack of definitive diagnostic criteria for SLE, presence of AQP-4 antibodies in CSF, and evidence of longitudinal extensive transverse myelitis in MRI cervical spine, we conclude that she has Neuromyelitis Optica spectrum disorder with probable SLE. It is possible that she may develop more signs and symptoms of SLE with time and will need close follow up. Timely diagnosis and prompt treatment are vital to decrease morbidity and mortality, as done in our case. The patient was started on high-dose steroids with significant improvement in her symptoms. These patients may need early treatment with plasmapheresis and long-term follow-up with immunotherapy to prevent relapse. There are few case reports in the literature, and more information is needed to understand and better diagnose NMO with coexisting SLE.

publication date

  • 2021

start page

  • 531

end page

  • 535


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