The spectrum of neuropsychiatric lupus in a Black Caribbean population: a report of the Barbados National Lupus Registry.


Objective The objective of this study was to examine neuropsychiatric lupus in a Black Caribbean population. Methods We reviewed Barbados National Lupus Registry patients with ≥4 American College of Rheumatology criteria and a diagnosis of neuropsychiatric lupus using the American College of Rheumatology 19 case definitions. Results From 366 patients with four or more American College of Rheumatology criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus, 55 (15%) had evidence of neuropsychiatric lupus. There were 51 females and four males (F:M = 13:1) with a median age of 31 years. A total of 76.4% had a single neuropsychiatric lupus complication and 23.6% had two or three complications occurring sequentially or concurrently. The top three complications were psychosis - 49.1% (95% CI 35.8, 62.5); ischaemic stroke - 32.7% (21.4, 46.5); and generalized tonic-clonic seizures - 12.7% (6.0, 24.8). Twelve of the American College of Rheumatology 19 neuropsychiatric syndromes were represented: 91.2% central; 8.8% peripheral. There were 521 observation years, and for 32 patients (58%) neuropsychiatric lupus was a presenting feature. For the remaining 23 (42%) the first neuropsychiatric lupus event came after systemic lupus erythematosus diagnosis - median time of two years. Of the 22 deaths, systemic lupus erythematosus nephritis caused almost half (45.5%) at a median age of 32. The prevalence of nephritis was lower in the neuropsychiatric lupus subgroup (25.5%) compared with the Barbados National Lupus Registry data (47%) ( P = 0.01). Ischaemic stroke caused 22.7% of deaths at a median age of 46 and was the main cause of chronic neurologic deficits amongst survivors. Conclusion Neuropsychiatric lupus was an early cause of morbidity in systemic lupus erythematosus with predominantly singular central nervous system complications, the most common of which was psychosis. Most deaths occurred at a young age, principally from systemic lupus erythematosus nephritis. Ischaemic stroke was the main neurologic cause of death and disability.