( BTW neuropsychiatric lupus is the more recent medical term for CNS Lupus)
I would say that the diagnosis given is generally SLE for all practical purposes but if the CNS symptoms predominate then that will be mentioned as a precision rather like lupus nephritis. There are a few people whose lupus symptoms are primarily NP just as there are a few people whose lupus shows most significantly as nephritis. However most of us have some sort of NP symptoms and most of us have some kidney involvement maybe relatively slight and from time to time.
In the case of NP lupus 'brain fog' or cognitive difficulties are very common whereas psychosis is rare. In the case of nephritis there is occasional protein loss but kidneys damaged to the point of needing transplant is relatively unusual.
The term CNS or NP lupus begs the questions what exactly does that mean in each case just as SLE does, because there are so many manifestations, whereas nephritis is a question of degree.
I agree that the main formal distinction is between cutaneous lupus meaning affecting only or mainly the skin, with no criteria for an SLE diagnosis, and SLE systemic lupus which may not affect the skin at all.
Yes, of course the doctors indicate how it is affecting you as an individual both in the case of SLE or CCLE or SCLE but they dont necessarily indicate this in the formal diagnosis codes.
Hope some help
Post Edited (BumbleBee1) : 12/11/2009 4:31:33 PM (GMT-7)