When are spinal imaging studies indicated in the workup of CNS lupus?

Updated: May 04, 2021
  • Author: Pradeep C Bollu, MD; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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In patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who have myelopathy, spinal magnetic resonance (MRI) or myelography is mandatory to exclude compressive lesions. MRI also may demonstrate intramedullary spinal lesions, with variable sensitivity that depends on imaging sequences and technical factors related to the MRI equipment. If myelography is elected, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) should be obtained before introducing contrast medium to assess for SLE disease activity, cytology, or evidence of opportunistic infection as appropriate.

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