A 39-year old women suddenly developed numbness of the left arm following mild weakness of the left upper and lower extremities, blindness in the left visual field, and difficulty finding words. Her symptoms lasted for two hours with no deficit remaining. Six months after the first episode, the first of several more occurred. Two of the episodes were followed by nausea and a non-pulsative headache around the left temporo-parietal regions and the orbit. She had also been suffering recurrent skin eruptions for the previous two years. There was no family history of migraine. Her neurological symptoms fulfilled the criteria of sporadic hemiplegic migraine (SHM). Biopsy of skin eruption revealed lymphocytic infiltration and liquefied degeneration of basal lamina. These findings were compatible with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). There were no lesions evident on brain MR. We diagnosed SLE and after administration of aspirin (100 mg/day) and lomerizine hydrochloride (10 mg/day), her neurological symptom completely disappeared. SHM-like headache in patients with SLE is extremely rare. Although an autoimmune or thrombotic mechanism has been suggested for neurological symptoms in SLE, further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanism. We propose that SLE should be considered as one of the differential diagnoses of SHM.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology