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Cranial computed tomography in the assessment of neurological complications in critically ill patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

, : Cranial computed tomography in the assessment of neurological complications in critically ill patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care 21(4): 400-404

The cranial computed tomography findings in 22 critically ill patients with systemic lupus erythematosus in the intensive care unit were reviewed to document the spectrum of pathology encountered and to assess the contribution of cranial computed tomography to the diagnosis and management of such patients, many of whom had severe multisystem disease. Thirty-one scans were performed in 22 patients, all of which were abnormal. Premature cerebral atrophy was identified in fifteen patients (68%), cerebral infarction in five (23%), intracranial haemorrhage and cerebral oedema in four each (18%), and hydrocephalus in three (14%). Six patients had multiple pathologies. The cranial computed tomography findings confirmed the clinical diagnosis in 13 of 22 cases (59%) and altered it in nine (41%). The contribution to diagnosis and management justifies transportation and computed tomography scanning. The contribution to patient outcome, however, is uncertain as mortality was 91%.


PMID: 8214543

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