Efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin treatment in lupus erythematosus chorea.

Clin Rheumatol. 2007 May 9

Lazurova I, Macejova Z, Benhatchi K, Oetterova M, Antolova E, Asherson RA, Rovensky J.

Department of Internal Medicine, Medical Faculty, University Kosice, tr. SNP 1, 040 11, Kosice, Slovakia, lazurova@central.medic.upjs.sk.

Chorea is a rare complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and is strongly related to the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. Various infections may also be triggering factors in the development of choreiform movements. Additionally, Salmonella infection is the most common opportunistic bacterial infection in SLE patients.

We report a case of a 33-year-old woman with SLE who developed lupus erythematosus-associated chorea with multiple involuntary movements and cognitive disturbances. Because the methylprednisolone therapy administered appeared to lead to Salmonella enteritidis infection, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) in a total dose 100 g was administered after which a remarkable improvement of the abnormal movements and cognitive function was noted. Within 7 days, the patient had returned to normal. We therefore conclude that IVIg therapy may be an effective therapeutic approach for the treatment of the acute cerebral complications of SLE, especially in cases in whom other therapeutic strategies are ineffective or harmful.

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