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Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ agonist pioglitazone improves vascular and metabolic dysfunction in systemic lupus erythematosus
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  • Published on:
    Correspondence on “Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ agonist pioglitazone improves vascular and metabolic dysfunction in systemic lupus erythematosus” by Hasni et al.
    • Dimitrios Patoulias, Internal Medicine Physician Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
    • Other Contributors:
      • Athina Dimosiari, Internal Medicine Physician

    We have read with great interest the results of the cross-over randomized controlled trial (RCT) by Hasni et al. assessing the effect of pioglitazone on arterial stiffness indices and cardio-metabolic risk parameters in subjects with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).1 Renal involvement is of utmost importance for the prognosis of SLE, with a significant proportion of affected patients developing lupus nephritis within the first years after diagnosis.2

    As demonstrated in the supplementary material of the article by Hasni et al.,1 treatment with pioglitazone resulted in a significant increase in blood urea nitrogen (BUN) (p = 0.005) and serum creatinine levels (p = 0.03), although the result seems to be of no clinical significance. It would be really interesting to know if the researchers also assessed the effect of pioglitazone on albuminuria levels in the enrolled participants. Among patients with diabetes mellitus thiazolidinediones have been shown to produce a significant reduction in urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (UACR), even among those with normo-albuminuria at baseline.3 Albuminuria should be taken into account, since it represents an additional prognostic marker for cardiovascular disease development, besides the established, traditional, cardiovascular risk factors.4 In addition, albuminuria is significantly associated with arterial stiffness indices, even in the general population setting, posing a potential causal link.5

    Therefore, if avai...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.