Objectives To investigate the influence of asymptomatic vertebral fractures on organ damage and to identify risk factors associated with critical organ damage in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods 197 women with SLE were included in this study. Bone mineral density (BMD) measurements of the hip and spine were performed using the dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) was done for detection vertebral fractures using a method described by Genant. Accumulated damage was scored using the SLICC/ACR damage index (SDI). Critical organ damage was defined as SDI>3.
Results Vertebral fractures were developed in 55 (27.9%) women with SLE. Half of all women with SLE (n=31, 15.7%) had asymptomatic vertebral fractures which were diagnosed for the first time in this study. 131 (66.5%) women with SLE had critical organ damage (SDI>3). Average SDI before and after morphometry was 4,4±2,2 and 5,3±2,6 respectively. Multivariate analysis showed age (p=0,01), cumulative dose of glucocorticoids (p=0,00005), previous therapy with cyclophosphamide (p=0,04) were significantly associated with critical damage in women with SLE.
Conclusions Detection of vertebral fractures helps in counting accumulated organ damage correctly. VFA in the combination with DXA in women with SLE is an effective method for diagnostic asymptomatic vertebral fractures.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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