Vasculitis of the CNS is an inflammation of the brain's blood vessels
due to lupus activity.
The most serious of the CNS syndromes associated with lupus, it
was the first to be described & is one of only two CNS syndromes
(the other being psychosis) that fulfill the ACR criteria for defining
Vasculitis of the CNS usually occurs early in the disease course;
over 80% of episodes take place within 5 years of diagnosis.
The typical patient experiences high fevers, seizures, meningitis-like
stiffness of the neck, & may manifest psychotic or bizarre behaviour.
10% of lupus patients develop CNS vasculitis.
Untreated, their course rapidly deteriorates into stupor &
It is diagnosed either by a conventional angiogram, a magnetic
resonance angiogram, lumbar puncture, or tests to detect high levels
of antineuronal antibodies in the serum.
It is treated with high doses of corticosteroids, or cytotoxic
drugs, & can be treated successfully.