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Mood disorder (MANIA) induced by systemic lupus erythematosus, successfully treated with oxcarbazepine--a case report.

INTRODUCTION: SLE is chronic, multisystem, inflammatory disorder of connective tissue whose course is punctuated by exacerbation and remissions. It characteristically affects joints, although any system can be involved.

It is predominantly a disease of young females with peak incidence occurring between 20 and 40 yrs with a female to male ratio of 10:1. (1) The exact patho-aetiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) remains elusive. An extremely complicated and multifactorial interaction among various genetic and environmental factors is probably involved. Multiple genes contribute to disease susceptibility. The interaction of sex, hormonal milieu, and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis modifies this susceptibility and the clinical expression of the disease. (2)

As per American college of rheumatology revised criteria (1982) for classification of Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). (3) A person shall be said to have SLE if any 4 of the 11 criteria are present. They are malar rash, discoid rash, photosensitivity, oral ulcers, arthritis, serositis, renal disorder, neurological disorder, hematological disorder, immune disorder, and antinuclear antibody.

Neuropsychiatric manifestation of SLE (NPSLE) is one of the major and most damaging presentations. It comprises a wide range of neurological syndromes affecting the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems, as well as psychiatric syndromes. In view of the diverse clinical manifestation of NPSLE, the American College of Rheumatology research committee devised a nomenclature which gives case definitions for 19 neuropsychiatric syndromes in SLE. (4) listed in Table 1

CASE REPORT: M.S. 29 year old married female from low socioeconomic background reported to the hospital on 31/05/2013 with body aches, migratory arthritis, intermittent low grade fever, and muscle weakness for 4 months duration. She had 20 days history of disturbed sleep, irritability, abusive and aggressive behavior, persecutory ideas against family members and her husband. She was overactive, talking more than usual, with neglect of self care and was unmanageable at home. There was no history suggestive of seizures or delirium. No history of substance use was elicited.

There was no past history of psychiatric or neurological disorder. Her premorbid personality was well adjusted.

Family history: she was born of a full term normal delivery, second of four siblings. Her mother expired when she was 8 years old. Father remarried. Her childhood was emotionally traumatic. She had to drop out of school after 7th grade. Married at 18 years with two children aged 10 years and 7 years. There was no family history of Psychiatric or neurological illness.

On mental status examination: Young adult female with dishevelled appearance, conscious, partially co operative, irritable, increased psychomotor activity, poor rapport, with fleeting attention. She had increased tone of speech, circumstantiality, and air of confidence and increased self-esteem. Her mood was anxious and affect was irritable. She denied any perceptual disturbance. She was oriented to time place and person and her memory was intact. Her intelligence was average. Personal judgment was impaired.

Physical examination: She had oral ulcers. Her temp was 100.1 [degrees]F respiratory system, cardiovascular system examination was normal. Central nervous system did not reveal any focal deficit.

Laboratory investigations: Hb was 12.1gms%, Erythrocyte (RBC) count 4.13million /cu mm, total leucocytes count were within normal limits. Her ESR was raised to 52mm/1hr. Her serum electrolyte, creatinine and blood urea were within normal limits. Her urine microscopy showed 89/hpf epithelial cells and 4-6/hpf pus cells. 24 hour urine protein was 2.5gm/l in 24 hrs. Her serum albumin was 4.4gm/dl, globulin 2.7gm/dl and AG ratio was 1.6. Her rest of Liver function tests (LFT) were normal. 25--Hydroxyvitamin D was 28.89ng/ml. Antistreptolysin titre was negative. And C reactive protein was 25 mg/l, fasting blood sugar level as 110mg/dl, uric acid 3.2mg/dl and TSH was 3.57miu/ml. Her antinuclear antibody factor (ANA) was positive with titre of 1:40 litre and Anti-double stranded DNA antibody (ANTI-dsDNA Antibody) of >200 IU/ml. (ref. range <35:00 IU/ml). Her brain computed tomography (CT) and electrocardiogram (ECG) did not reveal any abnormality.

The patient was diagnosed to have organic manic disorder as per ICD 10- F06.30. (5) secondary to SLE. She was treated in consultation with physician, with 50mg/day of prednisolone and hydroxyquinolone 400mg/day, along with mood stabilizer, Oxcarbazepine [OXC] 600mg /day in divided doses. Patient mood symptoms showed response to OXC and SLE symptoms also responded to treatment, over a period of next 2-3 weeks.

At her last follow up on 12/07/2013 she was mildly cheerful and had mild pressure of speech, hence her OXC was increased to 900mg/day.

DISCUSSION: About 28-40% of neuropsychiatric SLE findings arise before or around the time of diagnosis. (6) A psychotic episode due to SLE is most likely to occur during an acute exacerbation of the illness while the steroid psychosis are most likely to occur shortly after steroids are instituted or dose is increased. This distinction is very important in making correct diagnosis as insufficient doses of steroid may in fact contribute to the appearance of psychiatric symptoms as a result of inadequate control of the disease.

According to Monov and Monova 2008. (7) Common differential diagnosis that need to be considered are functional psychosis, delirium, steroid psychosis and other drug induced psychosis.

The above noted patient did not have any past history of psychiatric illness; neither there was family history of bipolar disorder nor Psychosis. Hence functional psychosis was ruled out. Patient presented with acute mania around the time of diagnosis of SLE. Prednisolone and hydroxyquinolone was started only after positive ANTI- dsDNA antibody and ANA test. Her brain computed tomography (CT) did not reveal any abnormality, but neuroimaging and laboratory findings could be normal due to diffuse brain disease in SLE which could be difficult to assess due to its sparse biological expression. (8) Metabolic causes were ruled out as she had normal renal, liver and thyroid function test. Also her electrolytes were normal. Based on the findings patient fulfilled the criteria for NPSLE as per American college of Rheumatology definition. (9)

As per our knowledge till date there are few reported cases in literature organic psychosis and organic mood disorder being successfully treated with typical and atypical antipsychotics and mood stabilizer like Valproic acid and carbamazepine and lithium.

Standard prescribing guidelines for mood disorder recommend a combination of an antipsychotic with lithium or, alternatively, a combination of an antipsychotic with valproate or carbamazepine. However, in our case of SLE induced mania, administration of lithium was at least relatively contra-indicated because the kidney is the most commonly involved visceral organ in SLE. Although only approximately 50% of patients with SLE develop clinically evident renal disease, biopsy studies demonstrate some degree of renal involvement in most patients. (10)

Furthermore, typical antipsychotics are prone to cause severe extra pyramidal symptoms and atypical antipsychotics like olanzapine and risperidone are associated with metabolic syndrome and hyperprolactinaemia respectively. As fatty liver is common in SLE, valproate may not have been a good choice hence OXC was selected as monotherapy as it is comparatively safe and efficacious in the treatment of acute mania then Carbamazepine. (11) Patients with SLE who's already compromised physical condition constitutes an absolute or relative contra-indication for the administration of standard treatments.

CONCLUSION: Psychosis in patient with SLE needs to be differentiated from functional psychosis, drug induced psychosis, metabolic cause and psychosis due to SLE, as treatment in each case will differ. Since these patient are more prone for side effects with standard treatment for acute mania, may be treated with mood stabilizer which has more safety profile. Successful treatment of SLE related mania with oxcarbazepine in our patient brings another therapeutic option to those patients with manic disorder, although controlled studies would be necessary to confirm this observation.


(1.) Lahita RG: Emerging concepts for sexual predilection in the disease systemic lupus erythematosus. Ann NY Acad Sci 1999, 876:64-69.

(2.) C C Mok, C S Lau: Pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus. J Clin Pathol 2003; 56:481-490 doi:10.1136/jcp.56.7.48

(3.) Tan EM, Cohen AS, Fries JF, Masi AT, McShane DJ, Rothfield NF, et al. The 1982 revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 1982; 25:1271-7 and Hochberg MC. Updating the American College of Rheumatology revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus [letter]. Arthritis Rheum 1997; 40:1725.

(4.) ACR Ad Hoc Committee on Neuropsychiatric Lupus Nomenclature (1999) The American College of Rheumatology nomenclature and case definitions for neuropsychiatric lupus syndromes. Arthritis and Rheumatism; 42: 599-608.

(5.) ICD- 10 Classification of mental and behavioral disorder-clinical description and diagnostic guidelines, world health organization Geneva.

(6.) Muscal E, Brey RL. Neurologic manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus in children and adults. Neurol Clin. Feb 2010;28(1):61-73.

(7.) Monov S, Monova D.Classification criteria for neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus: Do they need a discussion? Hippokratia.2008 Apr-Jun;12(2):103-107

(8.) Munoz-Malaga A, Anglada JC, and Paez M. et al. Psychosis as the initial manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus: the role of lupus band test and anti-ribosomal antibodies. Rev Neurol. 1999. 28:779-781.

(9.) American College of Rheumatology. Appendix A: case definitions for neuropsychiatric syndromes in systemic lupus erythematosus. Available from: Accessed April 25, 2012.

(10.) Wallace D, Edmund D, eds. Dubois' Lupus Erythematosus. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.; 2006.

(11.) Dietrich DE, Kropp Emrich HM. Oxcarbazepine in affective and schizoaffective disorders. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2001 Nov; 34(6):242-50.


[1.] Nayana Naik

[2.] Yvonne Da Silva Pereira

[3.] Ashish Srivastava


[1.] Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour [IPHB].

[2.] Professor and HOD, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour [IPHB].

[3.] Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry and Human


Dr. Nayana Naik, BF-41, "OM HARI" Housing society, Goa Housing Board, Alto Porvorim Bardez, Goa, Pin--403521.

Date of Submission: 20/07/2013.

Date of Peer Review: 20/07/2013.

Date of Acceptance: 26/07/2013.

Date of Publishing: 31/07/2013
Table 1 Neuropsychiatric manifestation of SLE

NPSLE associated with Central           NPSLE associated with
  nervous system                          peripheral nervous
Aseptic meningitis                      system
Cerebrovascular disease                 Acute inflammatory
Demyelinating syndrome                  polyradiculoneuropathy
Headache (including migraine            syndrome)
and benign intracranial hypertension)   Autonomic disorder
Movement disorder (chorea) Myelopathy   Mononeuropathy
Seizure disorders                       Myasthenia gravis
Acute confusional state (<1%)           Cranial neuropathy
Anxiety disorder                        Plexopathy
Cognitive dysfunction (55-80%)          Polyneuropathy
Mood disorder (14-57%)
Psychosis (0-8%)

Systemic SLE lupus erythematosus; NPSLE-Neuropsychiatric Systemic
lupus erythematosus
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Title Annotation:CASE REPORT
Author:Naik, Nayana; Pereira, Yvonne Da Silva; Srivastava, Ashish
Publication:Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences
Date:Aug 5, 2013
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