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Lupus Headaches in 55 Childhood-Onsets SLE

Author(s): Mohammad Hassan Moradinejad

Journal: Iranian Journal of Pediatrics
ISSN 2008-2142

Volume: 17;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 135;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Lupus | Antinuclear Antibodies

Objective: Although headache is a common complaint among patients with lupus, no universally accepted explanation was available until the International Headaches Society adopted Lupus headache as a Nomenclature in its classification recently. Few studies indicate that lupus patients with positive anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) and positive antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) experience more frequent headaches. The aim of this study was to determine the correlation between headache frequencies and ANA, anti-double strand DNA (anti-ds-DNA) and aPL positivity. Material & Methods: In this prospective multicenter study were enrolled 55 children, 45 girls and 10 boys (F/M ratio:4.5), aged 3-16 years (mean 11.5 years), with neuropsychiatric lupus complaining of headache, that where followed-up for 5 years.. Whether lupus headache is a sign of progressive nature of the disease and how it should be treated is not clear yet. Those with active disease, hypertension, or tension headache were not included in this study. Findings: We studied 55 children with definite lupus. Twenty three (43%) of our patients developed new or significantly worse, persistent headaches that sometimes were similar to migraine in the early course of their disease. However their headaches were not accompanied with disease flare up and the headaches were not found to be related to hypertension or use of other medications either. Accordingly, we came to a diagnosis of lupus headache for these patients. Among them 19/55 cases (35%) had a positive aPL and 53/55 cases (96%) had a positive ANA. Conclusion: Lupus headaches are most likely multifactorial, and probably only a small proportion of them truly represent active lupus. The above data highlights probable correlation between aPL, ANA, an anti-ds-DNA and lupus headache. However, more research is required to find better treatments and to establish a definitive correlation among them.
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