Results from a 25-year study involving 2,097 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) revealed that peripheral neuropathy is more commonly associated with lupus than previously thought. In the study, which was published online in Arthritis & Rheumatism, researchers characterized peripheral neuropathies due to systemic lupus erythematosus and also compared features in patients with and without neuropathy.
Results showed that, among the study participants, the prevalence of peripheral neuropathies was 5.9% (123 of the 2,097), with 66.7% (82 of the 123) having peripheral neuropathies attributable to systemic lupus. About 17.1% of patients with peripheral neuropathies due to systemic lupus had small-fiber neuropathies, a painful neuropathy not even included in the American College of Rheumatology neuropsychiatric SLE case definitions. It was also determined that compared to systemic lupus patients without peripheral neuropathies, peripheral neuropathy patients had lower disease activity, higher disease damage, and were more likely to have a history of herpes zoster virus, osteoporotic fractures, and opportunistic infections.
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