Clinical Case Report

Longitudinally Extensive Transverse Myelitis in a Lupus–Neuromyelitis Optica Overlap

Yonit Tavor, Moshe Herskovitz, Galia Ronen, and Alexandra Balbir-Gurman


Transverse myelitis is an inflammatory lesion of the spinal cord, occurring in different autoimmune, infectious, and traumatic diseases but is the hallmark of neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a rare neurologic autoimmune disease. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may develop transverse myelitis as a neuropsychiatric complication of active disease; however, at times, NMO co-exists as an additional primary autoimmune condition in a SLE patient. Correct diagnosis of a SLE–NMO overlap is important not only for the different disease course and prognosis compared with SLE-related LETM, but especially for the emerging and highly specific NMO treatment options, not established for SLE-related LETM—such as anti-aquaporin 4 antibodies, anti-VEGF antibodies, complement modulation, or IVIg.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2021;12(1):e0006