The prevalence and clinical characteristics of systemic lupus erythematosus with infectious brain lesions in China.
ABSTRACT Objective: Infectious brain lesions (IBLs) are life-threatening in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of IBL in SLE patients and the clinical characteristics of SLE patients with IBL. Methods: Medical charts of 15 consecutive SLE patients with IBL admitted to Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH) from January 1995 to October 2010 were reviewed systematically. A total of 150 cases were randomly selected as controls from 4115 SLE inpatients without IBL in PUMCH during the same period. Results: The prevalence of IBL in SLE patients was 0.4%. Significant differences were observed between SLE patients with and without IBL in the following manifestations (p < 0.05): arthritis/musculoskeletal involvement (66.7% vs. 32.0%), C-reactive protein (CRP) elevation (84.6% vs. 28.0%), anti-dsDNA antibody positivity (13.3% vs. 42.9%), and elevated SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) score (> 5) (13.3% vs. 71.3%). Fever was the most common manifestation (80%), followed by headache and focal neurological signs (73.3%). Twelve patients presented with infections in other sites, including pulmonary infection (66.7%) and meningitis (40.0%). Enhanced cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed point-enhancing or ring-enhancing lesions in all patients evaluated (12/12, 100%). Mycobacterium tuberculosis was the most common pathogen (10 cases, 66.7%). After administration of antibiotics targeting the pathogens, 11 patients (73.3%) recovered. Conclusions: IBL is not common in SLE patients. In stable SLE patients with fever, focal neurological signs, and CRP elevation, IBL should be suspected. Enhanced cranial MRI and a thorough check-up should be performed in a timely manner. It is very important to identify the pathogens and initiate treatment as early as possible.
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ABSTRACT: Nocardia asteroides cerebral abscesses are rare intracranial lesions. They account for only 2% of brain abscesses. Existing literature takes the form of anecdotal reports, small case series, and retrospective studies. An optimal treatment approach has not been established. However, there is evidence that the size of the lesion and clinical and immune status of the patient are relevant to surgical decision making. Three recent cases are presented and the existing literature is reviewed. The outcome in all three cases was satisfactory. Although the currently recommended neurosurgical management protocols were followed, one patient had a prolonged course, which may have been shortened had an earlier biopsy of the cerebral lesion been performed. The surgical approach to suspected Nocardia spp. cerebral abscesses has recently become less aggressive. A more aggressive approach than that currently preferred for suspected Nocardia spp. cerebral abscesses may be appropriate. Earlier biopsy of lesions to achieve specific identification and anti-microbial sensitivity profiles is suggested even in cases where an extracranial focus of infection is found. Delays in obtaining a biopsy may lead to non-specific or unhelpful results that may prolong the course in hospital and jeopardize the outcome.Surgical Neurology 07/2000; 53(6):605-10. · 1.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) can be used to distinguish brain abscesses from cystic or necrotic brain tumors, which are difficult to distinguish by conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. Eleven consecutive patients with brain abscesses [10 pyogenic and 1 toxoplasmosis (in an AIDS patient)] and 15 with cystic or necrotic brain gliomas or metastases were enrolled in this study. None of these lesions had apparent hemorrhage based on T1-weighted image (T1WI). The DWI was performed using a 1.5-T system, single-shot spin-echo echo-planar pulse sequence with b=1000 s/mm(2). The ADC was calculated using a two-point linear regression method at b=0 and b=1000 s/mm(2). The ratio (ADCR) of the lesion ADC to control region ADC was also measured. Increased signal was seen in all of the pyogenic abscess cavities to variable degrees on DWI. In vivo ADC maps showed restricted diffusion in the abscess cavity in all pyogenic abscesses [0.65+/-0.16 x 10(-3) (mean+/-S.D.) mm(2)/s, mean ADCR=0.63]. The case with multiple toxoplasmosis abscesses showed low signal intensity on DWI and high ADC values (mean 1.9 x 10(-3) mm(2)/s, ADCR=2.24). All cystic or necrotic tumors but one showed low signal intensity on DWI and their cystic or necrotic areas had high ADC values (2.70+/-0.31 x 10(-3) mm(2)/s, mean ADCR=3.42). One fibrillary low-grade astrocytoma had a high DWI signal intensity and a low ADC value in its central cystic area (0.44 x 10(-3) mm(2)/s, ADCR=0.49). Postcontrast T1WIs yielded a sensitivity of 60%, a specificity of 27.27%, a positive predictive value (PPV) of 52.94%, and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 33.33% in the diagnosis of necrotic tumors. DWI yielded a sensitivity of 93.33%, a specificity of 90.91%, a PPV of 93.33%, and a NPV of 90.91%. The area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves for postcontrast T1WI was 0.44 and DWI was 0.92. Analysis of these areas under the ROC curves indicates significant difference between postcontrast T1WI and DWI (P<.001). With some exceptions, DWI is useful in providing a greater degree of confidence in distinguishing brain abscesses from cystic or necrotic brain tumors than conventional MRI and seems to be a valuable diagnostic tool.Clinical Imaging 01/2002; 26(4):227-36. · 0.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to describe the etiology, characteristics and outcomes of central nervous system (CNS) infections in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), while also identifying prognostic and risk factors. Thirty-eight SLE patients with CNS infections were identified from review of all charts of patients with SLE hospitalized from January 1995 to June 2005. These patients were divided into 3 groups, i.e., Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), non-TB bacterial and fungal infection groups. Of the 38 SLE cases with CNS infections, TB was identified in 19 patients, Listeria monocytogenes in 3 patients, Klebsiella pneumoniae in 1 patient, Staphylococcus aureus in 1 patient, Gram's stain positive bacteria in 1 patient, Cryptococcus neoformans in 12 patients, and Aspergillus fumigatus in 1 patient. The rate of unfavorable outcome in patients with fungal infection was lower than in patients with TB (P=0.028) and non-TB bacterial CNS infections (P=0.046). SLE patients with TB or fungal CNS infections had a more insidious or atypical clinical presentation. Compared to SLE patients without CNS infections, those with CNS infections were more likely to have low serum albumin levels (P=0.048) and have been receiving higher doses of prednisolone at the onset of CNS infection (P=0.015) or higher mean doses of prednisolone within the previous year (P=0.039). In conclusion, low levels of serum albumin and higher doses of received prednisolone are important risk factors for the development of CNS infections in SLE patients.Clinical Rheumatology 07/2007; 26(6):895-901. · 2.04 Impact Factor