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Keywords:

  • Cognitive functioning;
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • Children;
  • Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the concurrent validity and diagnostic accuracy of the pediatric Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (Ped-ANAM) when used in childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods

Formal neuropsychological testing and the Ped-ANAM were performed on 27 children with SLE who had not been previously diagnosed with neuropsychiatric SLE. Performance when completing the 10 Ped-ANAM tests was based on accuracy (AC), mean time to correct response, coefficient of variation of the time required for a correct response (CVc), and throughput. Formal neuropsychological testing was used as a criterion standard for diagnosing neurocognitive dysfunction (NCD; yes/no).

Results

NCD was common and present in 16 (59%) of 27 participants. Ped-ANAM performance parameters were often moderately correlated with the Z scores on formal neuropsychological testing. The NCD group differed significantly (P < 0.05) from the normal cognition group in 3 Ped-ANAM tests: CVc with mathematical processing (MTH-CVc), AC with continuous performance test (CPT-AC), and CVc with spatial processing (SPD-CVc). Areas under the receiver operating curves (AUCs) ranged between 0.75 and 0.84 when each of these parameters (CPT-AC, MTH-CVc, SPD-CVc) was used to identify NCD independently. The AUC was improved to 0.96 for the combined assessment.

Conclusion

The Ped-ANAM has concurrent validity when used in children with SLE. Initial validation suggests that the Ped-ANAM could be a useful screening tool for NCD in children with SLE.