E. Aït Benhaddou, N. Birouk, M. el Alaoui-Faris
Mar 1, 2003
The involvement of the peripheral nervous system in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is rare and is dominated by distal symmetric axonal polyneuropathy and multiple mononeuropathy. It usually occurs in late course of the disease. Acute polyradiculoneuropathy of Guillain-Barré syndrome type is very rare and can frequently constitute the first symptom of systemic lupus. We report two cases of acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) complicated by respiratory failure due to systemic lupus. In the first case, the pure motor AIDP was the first manifestation of the SLE. The outcome under prednisone treatment was dramatically good with regression of clinical deficit and normalisation of nerve conduction within one month and 12 months of treatment respectively. In the second case the AIDP occurred only one week after diagnosis of SLE and corticotherapy. It was a demyelinating sensory-motor neuropathy. Clinical improvement was obtained after two cures of intravenous gammaglobulin (IVIg). The normalisation of nerve conduction was obtained within 8 months. AIDP is a very rare complication of SLE, but it should be searched as an aetiology of Guillain-Barré syndrome associated to systemic clinical symptoms or to blood inflammation. Corticotherapy could be sufficient, but in some cases the addition of IVIg or plasmapheresis might be necessary.