Optic neuritis and recurrent myelitis in a woman with systemic lupus erythematosus

Julius Birnbaum, Douglas Kerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background: A 38-year-old woman with systemic lupus erythematosus presented with headaches and bilateral hearing loss. Brain MRI was initially suggestive of small-vessel disease developing in the context of neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus. Several months later, the patient developed optic neuritis, followed by recurrent attacks of myelitis. Investigations: MRI of the spine revealed multifocal regions of myelitis affecting the cervical spine. Serological evaluation revealed the presence of neuromyelitis optica-IgG antibodies. MRI of the brain was nondiagnostic for multiple sclerosis. Diagnosis: Recurrent myelitis and optic neuritis, occurring in the context of neuromyelitis optica (also known as Devic's syndrome). Management: The patient had recurrent attacks of myelitis despite treatment with pulse cyclophosphamide. After initiation of rituximab, the patient experienced symptomatic improvement and had no further attacks of opticospinal disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-386
Number of pages6
JournalNature Clinical Practice Rheumatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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