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Longitudinal extensive transverse myelitis: a rare neurological complication of systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. Sara Seyedali1 and
  2. Deborah R Alpert2
  1. 1 Department of Rheumatology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, New Jersey, USA
  2. 2 Medicine/Rheumatology, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, New Jersey, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Deborah R Alpert, Deborah.Alpert{at}


We present a 47-year-old woman with recently diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus who developed progressive numbness and tingling of her upper and lower extremities, followed by weakness and difficulty ambulating. She was diagnosed with longitudinal extensive transverse myelitis involving her entire cervical and thoracic spinal cord. Infectious workup was unrevealing. She failed to respond to pulse–dose intravenous steroids, but slowly improved with the addition of plasmapheresis and cyclophosphamide. Following maintenance treatment with mycophenolate mofetil and slow tapering of oral steroids, she has maintained complete remission with significant recovery of neurological function.

  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • connective tissue disease
  • spinal cord
  • neuromuscular disease

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  • Contributors SS and DRA: substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content. Final approval of the version published. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.