Background The incidence of retinopathy in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and its relation to other clinical and laboratory manifestations of SLE are under debate.1 Great importance is placed on retinopathy in activity criteria according to the scoring system of SLEDAI.2
Objectives The goal of the monocenter cross sectional study from the East Bohemian region is to clarify the problem according to the incidence of retinal changes of SLE, and evaluation of the disease activity in SLE according to the descriptors of the SLEDAI2 in patients with and without retinopathy.
Methods The group under study consists of 60 SLE patients according to ACR classification (1982, updated 1997). One expert ophthalmologist examined the ocular fundi for the presence of retinal changes fulfilling the definition of the SLEDAI descriptor for visual disturbance, but without any information about other SLEDAI descriptors. Data obtained in SLE patients with and without retinopathy were statistically processed using Wilcoxon´s test and Fisher's exact test.
Results Retinopathy according to the SLEDAI definition was present in 9 (15%), and absent in 51 (85%) SLE patients. The values of the SLEDAI score in patients with retinopathy were significantly higher than in patients without retinopathy (p < 0.001). In SLE with retinopathy two other SLEDAI descriptors frequency was significantly more than in patients without retinopathy: arthritis (p < 0.035) and increased DNA binding (p < 0.038).
Conclusion The incidence of retinopathy according to the SLEDAI definition in 15% (9/60) of SLE under study, and significantly higher values of the SLEDAI score in SLE subgroup with retinopathy were found. Data obtained also demonstrated that retinal changes of SLE may be significantly more frequent in SLE with arthritis and with increased DNA binding.
Ushiyama O, et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2000:705–8
Bombardier C, et al. Arthritis Rheum. 1992;35:630–40
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