Background In a prospective observational study, we investigated whether patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) had higher indices of endothelial damage and dysfunction than healthy controls and whether improved disease control was associated with improvement in these indices.
Methods Twenty-seven patients with active SLE (four or more American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria) and 22 age-matched controls were assessed. Endothelial microparticles (EMPs; CD31+/annexin V+/CD42b−) were quantified using flow cytometry. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) was measured using automated edge-tracking software. Twenty-two patients had a second assessment at a median (IQR) of 20 (16, 22) weeks after initiating new immunosuppressive therapy.
Results SLE patients had a median (IQR) baseline global British Isles Lupus Assessment Group Disease Activity Index (BILAG-2004) score of 14 (12, 22). CD31+/annexin V+/CD42b− EMPs were higher (157 548/ml (59 906, 272 643) vs 41 025(30 179, 98 082); p=0.003) and endothelial-dependent FMD was lower (1.63% (−1.22, 5.32) vs 5.40% (3.02, 8.57); p=0.05) in SLE patients than controls. CD31+/annexin V+/CD42b− EMPs correlated inversely with FMD (%) (r2 −0.40; p=0.006). At follow-up, the median (IQR) change in global BILAG-2004 score was −11 (−18, −3). CD31+/annexin V+/CD42b− EMP levels were reduced (166 982/ml (59 906, 278 775 vs 55 655(29 475, 188 659; p=0.02) and FMD had improved (0.33% (−2.31, 4.1) vs 3.19% (0.98, 5.09); p=0.1) at the second visit.
Conclusions Active SLE is associated with evidence of increased endothelial damage and endothelial dysfunction, which improved with suppression of inflammation. Better control of active inflammatory disease may contribute to improved cardiovascular risk in patients with SLE.
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Disease Activity
This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.
Files in this Data Supplement:
- Data supplement 1 - Online supplement