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Case Report

Sudan J Paed. 2020; 20(2): 170-175

An unusual neurological presentation: systemic lupus erythematosus mimicking central nervous system infection

Barnali Das, Rekha Khaund Borkotoky, Amrit Lal Saha, Geetanjali Sahariah Khound, Puja Banerjee Barua, Siba Prosad Paul.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune multisystem disease. Childhoodonset SLE is extremely rare and comprises only 10% to 20% of all cases. In this case report, we present a 9-year-old boy from northeastern India who presented with fever, cough, vague abdominal pain, lethargy and swelling of face and legs. Initial impression was one of sepsis with central nervous system (CNS) involvement and was treated accordingly. Detailed clinical examination with subsequent laboratory and imaging studies clinched the diagnosis of SLE. The patient showed rapid resolution of symptoms with immunoglobulins, cyclophosphamide and steroid therapy. A brief discussion on childhood neuropsychiatric lupus syndrome and SLE with CNS infections is included here.

Key words: Systemic lupus erythematosus; Children; Neurological manifestations; Neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus; Sepsis; Resource-limited settings.

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