• 1 Rheumatology Unit, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Malaysia
  • 2 Hospital Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
  • 3 Neurology Unit, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Malaysia
  • 4 Nephrology Unit, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Malaysia
Egyptian Rheumatologist, 2016;38:189-194.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejr.2015.12.001


Aim of the work This work aimed to determine the frequency of subclinical memory dysfunction in a group of Malaysian systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and to study its relation to clinical characteristics, laboratory investigations and disease activity. Patients and methods Fifteen SLE patients attending the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) and not known to have neuropsychiatric lupus were recruited. These patients were assessed using the Wechsler Memory Scale. Disease activity was assessed using the SLE disease activity index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K). Results The median age of the patients was 28 years (25–37 years) and they were 14 females and one male. Their median disease duration was 9.3 years (4.8–10 years). Their median SLEDAI-2K was 4 (0–6). Memory dysfunction was identified in 7/15 (46.7%) SLE patients and was significantly associated with lower serum thyroxine levels (median 12.27; 11.8–13.3 μg/dl) (p = 0.027) compared to those without memory impairment (15.48; 14.39–16.56 μg/dl). Auditory memory impairment was associated with the education level as the auditory memory index was significantly lower in patients with secondary education (n = 7, median 88; 86.5–91.5) compared to those who received tertiary education (n = 8, median 103; 97.5–119.5) (p = 0.025) while visual memory was influenced by disease duration (p = 0.016). There was no association between overall memory dysfunction and disease duration, number of relapses, clinical manifestations and SLEDAI-2K scores. Conclusion There is a high frequency of subclinical memory dysfunction among SLE patients. A remarkable association is present with lower thyroxine. Auditory memory impairment is related to the level of education and visual memory to disease duration. © 2015 The Authors