Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with n-isopropyl-p-[123I]iodoamphetamine (IMP) was performed on 20 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Fifteen of the patients showed areas of hypoperfusion. All nine patients who had florid psychiatric manifestations at the time the SPECT was performed had hypoperfusion areas. Four patients who had abnormal SPECT findings during psychiatric remission had psychiatric exacerbation one to six months after the SPECT. Four patients who had no hypoperfusion during psychiatric remission had good psychiatric prognoses. Two patients who had no history of psychiatric abnormality but showed hypoperfusion had psychiatric manifestations one month after the SPECT. The IMP-SPECT may be useful as a biological marker that represents the activity of cerebral involvement underlying psychiatric manifestations and the presence of subclinical CNS involvement.
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