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Transverse myelitis and its treatment

Lupus Foundation of America

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Transverse myelitis is a disorder of the nervous system linked to inflammation of the spinal cord. It is very rare, affecting approximately one percent of patients with lupus.

It usually begins suddenly and may cause feelings of numbness, tingling, loss of sensation, pain, weakness and, at times, loss of bowel and bladder control. If left untreated, the disorder may continue to progress over time, so treatment should be aggressive, and should include high dose prednisone and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). If anti-phospholipid antibodies are present, anticoagulants (blood thinning medications) may also help.

Transverse myelitis that is related to lupus may relapse once treated, so you should work with your doctor to track and manage any symptoms you may have. For more detailed information, please visit the National Institute of Health's page on transverse myelitis.

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