Objective. To determine the prevalence of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) lesions in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients without a history of neuropsychiatric symptoms and to correlate any MRI abnormalities with the patient's other disease manifestations or treatment.
Methods. Prospective study of 32 consecutive patients with SLE without a history of neuropsychiatric symptoms, from inpatient and outpatient rheumatology services, who underwent MRI scan during a 3-year period.
Results. Five patients had MRI abnormalities consisting of white matter lesions or periventricular hyperintensities; this is similar to the prevalence of these abnormalities in the general population.
Conclusion. The prevalence of silent brain MRI abnormalities is not increased in SLE patients who do not have a history of neuropsychiatric manifestations.