2020 Volume 14 Issue 4 Pages 209-210
Lupus myelitis is a rare but serious condition characterized by myelopathy in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Its presentation is usually acute or subacute, and it is often refractory to treatment. We reported a rare presentation of lupus myelitis in a 38-year-old Japanese woman with a 20-year history of SLE. She developed paraparesis and bladder/bowel dysfunction 6 months prior to presentation. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed atrophy of the entire thoracic spinal cord with high intensity on T1-weighted sequence. She was initially treated with intravenous pulse steroid therapy, and prednisolone (20 mg/day) was continued; mizoribine was changed to azathioprine (100 mg/day). In addition, she underwent a rehabilitation program to improve lower-extremity muscle weakness. Moreover, because of the refractory clinical condition, intravenous cyclophosphamide pulse therapy was added. Within 1 month, she could walk with a cane and had a desire to urinate and defecate. In conclusion, early and aggressive treatment improves the permanent damage of lupus myelitis.