[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of the salivary and lacrimal glands. The aim of the study was to characterize and compare the presence of diverse cytokines and regulatory T and B cells in lip minor salivary gland (MSG) biopsies from patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), secondary SS (sSS), and patients with connective tissue disease (CTD) without (w/o) SS. We included samples of MSG from 15 pSS, 24 sSS (six scleroderma, nine rheumatoid arthritis and nine lupus patients) and 15 patients with CTD w/o SS. Tissues were examined by an indirect immunoperoxidase technique (goat polyclonal anti‐human IL‐19, goat polyclonal anti‐human IL‐22 or mouse monoclonal anti‐human IL‐24). To determine the subpopulation of CD4+/IL‐17A+‐, CD4+/IL‐4+‐, CD4+/IFN‐+‐expressing T cells, CD25+/Foxp3+ Treg cells and CD20+/IL‐10+‐producing B cell subset, a double‐staining procedure was performed. We estimated the mean percentage of positively staining cells in two fields per sample. CD4+/IFN‐+, CD4+/IL‐4+ and IL‐22+ cell percentages were elevated in both SS varieties; however, the cells were more prevalent in pSS. Patients with pSS had a high number of CD4+/IL‐17A+ and IL‐19+ T cells and a lower percentage of IL‐24+ cells (P 0.05). The Treg and IL‐10‐producing B cells were increased in pSS (P 0.05). Concluding, in our patients, a pro‐inflammatory and regulatory balance coexists in SS, being both responses more intense in pSS. The explanation of these differences may be related to disease activity, disease duration and treatment.
Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 12/2014; 80:432-440. · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract
Objective. The aim of this study was to estimate the age at natural menopause in women with SLE.
Methods. One thousand and thirty-nine consecutive SLE patients <60 years of age were surveyed.
Demographic and clinical data were queried by a single investigator. SLE characteristics and co-morbid-
ities were retrieved from their medical records. Natural menopause was defined as amenorrhoea 512
months in the absence of previous hysterectomy, CYC exposure and severe chronic kidney disease
(SCKD). Pregnant women and those with menses during the 12 months prior to interview were considered
premenopausal. Median age at menopause was estimated by both logit and survival analyses. In addition,
mean age at menopause was calculated for patients aged 540 years. Factors associated with age at
natural menopause were assessed by Cox regression analysis.
Results. A total of 961 SLE women were analysed. At interview, most patients (81.6%) were premenopausal,
7.9% had natural menopause, 6.3% were postmenopausal previously exposed to CYC, 4.1% had
undergone hysterectomy before menopause and 0.1% presented with SCKD and amenorrhoea. The mean
age at interview was 35.2 years (S.D. 10.1), the mean age at SLE diagnosis was 26.9 years (S.D. 8.6) and the mean duration of disease was 8.2 years (S.D. 7.1). The mean recalled age at menopause was 46.4
years (S.D. 4.7). Median age at menopause estimated by logit and survival analyses were 50.7 and 50.8
years, respectively. Only the age at SLE diagnosis was associated with age at natural menopause.
Conclusion. Median age at natural menopause in women with lupus is 50 years. This is consistent with
the age at menopause reported in the general population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the distribution of HLA-A, B, DRB1 and DQB1 alleles among Mexican patients with primary Sjögren Syndrome (pSS), secondary SS (sSS), connective tissue disease (CTD) without (w/o) SS and historical ethnically healthy controls. We included 28 pSS, 30 sSS, 96 CTD w/o SS patients and 234 controls. HLA-A, B, DRB1 and DQB1 were amplified and sequenced using the Allele SEQR Sequenced Based Typing Kits and analyzed on the ABI Prism*3130 DNA Analyzer using the Assign software. Gene frequencies were obtained by direct counting. Contingence tables of 2 × 2 were generated and analyzed by the Mantel-Haenzel χ (2) or Fisher's test (EPIINFO program). We reported odds ratios (OR) and corrected p values. SS patients showed increased frequencies of A*68:01 and DRB1*14:06 alleles when compared to CTD w/o SS (OR 4.43, 95 % CI 1.35-14.14, p = 0.007 and OR 14, 95 % CI 1.68-116, p = 0.001, respectively) and a higher prevalence of DRB1*01:01 (OR 5.9, 95 % CI 2.13-16.56, p = 0.003) and HLA-B*35:01 (OR 3.70, 95 % CI 1.92-7.12, p = 0.004) when compared with controls. pSS patients had a higher frequency of DRB1*14:06 allele than sSS (OR 16, 95 % CI 1.59-390, p = 0.001). Anti-Ro/SSA positivity was associated with B*51:01 (OR 10.11, 95 % CI 1.09-245, p = 0.02) and DRB1*03:01 alleles (OR 4.26, 95 % CI 1.01-18.89, p = 0.029), whereas the A*01:01 allele was associated with anti-La/SSB positivity (OR 4.75, 95 % CI 1.32-16.92, p = 0.003). In our population, the DRB1*14:06 allele was associated with primary and secondary SS implying that both varieties bear a similar immunogenetic background.
Rheumatology International 09/2014; · 1.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and performance of the American-European Consensus Group (AECG) and ACR Classification Criteria for SS in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The metabolic syndrome (MetS) may contribute to the increased cardiovascular risk in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We examined the association between MetS and disease activity, disease phenotype and corticosteroid exposure over time in patients with SLE.
Recently diagnosed (<15 months) patients with SLE from 30 centres across 11 countries were enrolled into the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) Inception Cohort from 2000 onwards. Baseline and annual assessments recorded clinical, laboratory and therapeutic data. A longitudinal analysis of factors associated with MetS in the first 2 years of follow-up was performed using random effects logistic regression.
We studied 1150 patients with a mean (SD) age of 34.9 (13.6) years and disease duration at enrolment of 24.2 (18.0) weeks. In those with complete data, MetS prevalence was 38.2% at enrolment, 34.8% at year 1 and 35.4% at year 2. In a multivariable random effects model that included data from all visits, prior MetS status, baseline renal disease, SLICC Damage Index >1, higher disease activity, increasing age and Hispanic or Black African race/ethnicity were independently associated with MetS over the first 2 years of follow-up in the cohort.
MetS is a persistent phenotype in a significant proportion of patients with SLE. Renal lupus, active inflammatory disease and damage are SLE-related factors that drive MetS development while antimalarial agents appear to be protective from early in the disease course.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 04/2014; · 9.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the frequency of each American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criterion met at time of enrollment, and the increase in each of the criteria over 5 years.
In 2000 the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) recruited an international inception cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; ≥ 4 ACR criteria) who were followed at yearly intervals according to a standard protocol. Descriptive statistics were used to assess the total and cumulative number of ACR criteria met at each visit. Regression models were done to compare the increase of individual and cumulative criteria as a function of race/ethnicity group, and sex.
In all, 768 patients have been followed for a minimum of 5 years. Overall, 59.1% of the patients had an increase in the number of ACR criteria they met over the 5-year period. The mean number of ACR criteria met at enrollment was 5.04 ± 1.13 and at year 5 was 6.03 ± 1.42. At enrollment, nonwhite patients had a higher number of ACR criteria (5.19 ± 1.23) than white patients. The total number of criteria increased in both white and nonwhite ethnicities, but increased more among whites. Males had a slightly lower number of criteria at enrollment compared to females and males accrued fewer criteria at 5 years.
In this international inception cohort of SLE patients with at least 4 ACR criteria at entry, there was an accumulation of ACR criteria over the following 5 years. The distribution of criteria both at inception and over 5 years is affected by sex and ethnicity.
The Journal of Rheumatology 04/2014; · 3.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the frequency and characteristics of headaches and their association with global disease activity and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
A disease inception cohort was assessed annually for headache (5 types) and 18 other neuropsychiatric (NP) events. Global disease activity scores (SLE Disease Activity Index 2000 [SLEDAI-2K]), damage scores (Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index [SDI]), and Short Form 36 (SF-36) mental and physical component summary scores were collected. Time to first headache and associations with SF-36 scores were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards and linear regression models with generalized estimating equations.
Among the 1,732 SLE patients enrolled, 89.3% were female and 48.3% were white. The mean ± SD age was 34.6 ± 13.4 years, duration of disease was 5.6 ± 5.2 months, and length of followup was 3.8 ± 3.1 years. At enrollment, 17.8% of patients had headache (migraine [60.7%], tension [38.6%], intractable nonspecific [7.1%], cluster [2.6%], and intracranial hypertension [1.0%]). The prevalence of headache increased to 58% after 10 years. Only 1.5% of patients had lupus headache, as identified in the SLEDAI-2K. In addition, headache was associated with other NP events attributed to either SLE or non-SLE causes. There was no association of headache with SLEDAI-2K scores (without the lupus headache variable), SDI scores, use of corticosteroids, use of antimalarials, use of immunosuppressive medications, or specific autoantibodies. SF-36 mental component scores were lower in patients with headache compared with those without headache (mean ± SD 42.5 ± 12.2 versus 47.8 ± 11.3; P < 0.001), and similar differences in physical component scores were seen (38.0 ± 11.0 in those with headache versus 42.6 ± 11.4 in those without headache; P < 0.001). In 56.1% of patients, the headaches resolved over followup.
Headache is frequent in SLE, but overall, it is not associated with global disease activity or specific autoantibodies. Although headaches are associated with a lower HRQOL, the majority of headaches resolve over time, independent of lupus-specific therapies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. The objective of this study was to define the cytokine and chemokine profiles in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with headache as neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE).Methods. In a post hoc analysis, seven patients hospitalized because of headache were included. Patients were evaluated at hospitalization and 6 months later and a CSF sample was obtained. As controls, CSF from 27 patients with other NPSLE syndromes, 16 SLE patients without a history of NP manifestations (non-NPSLE) and 25 patients with non-autoimmune diseases were studied. Soluble molecules including cytokines (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, IFN-α and IFN-γ) and chemokines [monocyte chemotactic protein-1, RANTES (regulated on activation normal T cell expressed and secreted), IL-8, monokine induced by IFN-γ (MIG), and IFN-γ-induced protein 10 (IP-10)] were measured with the use of cytometric bead array kits or luminometry.Results. Patients with headache had increased CSF values in the following molecules compared with non-NPSLE and non-autoimmune diseases patients, respectively: IL-6 (208.5, 3.0, 3.0 pg/ml, P < 0.004 and P < 0.001), IL-8 (406.6, 30.0, 19.7 pg/ml, P < 0.05 and P < 0.004), IP-10 (4673, 329.7, 113.6 pg/ml, P = 0.02 and P < 0.002), RANTES (7.5, 2.5, 2.2 pg/ml, P < 0.003 for both) and MIG (944.7, 11.4, 3.5 pg/ml, P = 0.02 and P = 0.001). No clear difference was observed between patients with headache and other NPSLE. Higher levels of inflammatory molecules were found in patients with headache from intracranial hypertension and intractable non-specific headache than patients with migraine. Six months later, when the headache had resolved, all the elevated molecule levels had decreased significantly.Conclusion. Headache from intracranial hypertension and intractable non-specific headache, but not migraine, share the inflammatory profile in CSF observed in other NPSLE syndromes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. To determine the prevalence of SS in a cohort of recent-onset SLE patients and evaluate the clinical and immunological variables that may identify SLE patients prone to develop SS.Methods. A total of 103 patients participating in a prospective cohort of recent-onset SLE were assessed for fulfilment of the American European Consensus Group criteria for SS using a three-phase approach: screening (European questionnaire, Schirmer-I test and wafer test), confirmation (fluorescein staining test, non-stimulated whole-salivary flow and anti-Ro/La antibodies) and lip biopsy. Anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies and RF were measured at entry into the cohort and at SS assessment.Results. Ninety-three females and 10 males were included. Mean age at lupus diagnosis was 25.9 ± 8.9 years, and lupus duration at SS assessment was 30.9 ± 9.1 years. SS was diagnosed in 19 (18.5%) patients, all female, and the patients were older at SLE diagnosis than patients without SS (30.8 ± 9.3 vs 24 ± 8.8 years, P = 0.004). Anti-Ro/SSA antibody was more common in SLE-SS patients (84% vs 55%, P = 0.02, LR + 1.53, 95% CI 1.14, 2.04). In the multivariate analysis, age ≥25 years and anti-Ro/SSA antibodies at SLE diagnosis were identified as predictors of SLE-SS, while the absence of anti-Ro/SSA, anti-La/SSB and RF seems to be protective (LR- 0.14, 95% CI 0.02, 0.95).Conclusion. The overlap of SLE and SS occurs in almost one-fifth of SLE patients and presents early during its evolution. SLE onset at age ≥25 years plus the presence of anti-Ro/SSA antibody at diagnosis are useful predictors, while the absence of anti-Ro/SSA, anti-La/SSB and RF identifies patients at lowest risk.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The metabolic syndrome (MetS) may contribute to increased cardiovascular risk in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We aimed to examine the association of demographic factors, lupus phenotype and therapy exposure with the presence of MetS. METHODS: The Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics Registry for Atherosclerosis inception cohort enrolled recently diagnosed (<15 months) SLE patients from 30 centres across 11 countries from 2000. Clinical, laboratory and therapeutic data were collected according to a standardised protocol. MetS was defined according to the 2009 consensus statement from the International Diabetes Federation. Univariate and backward stepwise multivariate logistic regression were used to assess the relationship of individual variables with MetS. RESULTS: We studied 1686 patients, of whom 1494 (86.6%) had sufficient data to determine their MetS status. The mean (SD) age at enrolment and disease duration was 35.2 years (13.4) and 24.1 weeks (18.0), respectively. MetS was present at the enrolment visit in 239 (16%). In backward stepwise multivariable regression analysis, higher daily average prednisolone dose (mg) (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.03), older age (years) (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.06), Korean (OR 6.33, 95% CI 3.68 to 10.86) and Hispanic (OR 6.2, 95% CI 3.78 to 10.12) ethnicity, current renal disease (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.80) and immunosuppressant use (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.18 to 2.78) were associated with MetS. CONCLUSIONS: Renal lupus, higher corticosteroid doses, Korean and Hispanic ethnicity are associated with MetS in SLE patients. Balancing disease control and minimising corticosteroid exposure should therefore be at the forefront of personalised treatment decisions in SLE patients.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 09/2012; · 9.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) group revised and validated the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) classification criteria in order to improve clinical relevance, meet stringent methodology requirements, and incorporate new knowledge regarding the immunology of SLE.
The classification criteria were derived from a set of 702 expert-rated patient scenarios. Recursive partitioning was used to derive an initial rule that was simplified and refined based on SLICC physician consensus. The SLICC group validated the classification criteria in a new validation sample of 690 new expert-rated patient scenarios.
Seventeen criteria were identified. In the derivation set, the SLICC classification criteria resulted in fewer misclassifications compared with the current ACR classification criteria (49 versus 70; P = 0.0082) and had greater sensitivity (94% versus 86%; P < 0.0001) and equal specificity (92% versus 93%; P = 0.39). In the validation set, the SLICC classification criteria resulted in fewer misclassifications compared with the current ACR classification criteria (62 versus 74; P = 0.24) and had greater sensitivity (97% versus 83%; P < 0.0001) but lower specificity (84% versus 96%; P < 0.0001).
The new SLICC classification criteria performed well in a large set of patient scenarios rated by experts. According to the SLICC rule for the classification of SLE, the patient must satisfy at least 4 criteria, including at least one clinical criterion and one immunologic criterion OR the patient must have biopsy-proven lupus nephritis in the presence of antinuclear antibodies or anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of belimumab versus placebo, plus standard systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) therapy, on organ domain-specific SLE disease activity. METHODS: Data obtained after 52 weeks of treatment from two phase III trials (BLISS-52 and BLISS-76) comparing belimumab 1 and 10 mg/kg versus placebo, plus standard therapy, in 1684 autoantibody-positive patients were analysed post hoc for changes in British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG) and Safety of Estrogens in Lupus National Assessment-Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SELENA-SLEDAI) organ domain scores. RESULTS: At baseline, the domains involved in the majority of patients were musculoskeletal and mucocutaneous by both BILAG and SELENA-SLEDAI, and immunological by SELENA-SLEDAI. At 52 weeks, significantly more patients treated with belimumab versus placebo had improvement in BILAG musculoskeletal and mucocutaneous domains (1 and 10 mg/kg), and in SELENA-SLEDAI mucocutaneous (10 mg/kg), musculoskeletal (1 mg/kg) and immunological (1 and 10 mg/kg) domains. Improvement was also observed in other organ systems with a low prevalence (≤16%) at baseline, including the SELENA-SLEDAI vasculitis and central nervous system domains. Significantly fewer patients treated with belimumab versus placebo had worsening in the BILAG haematological domain (1 mg/kg) and in the SELENA-SLEDAI immunological (10 mg/kg), haematological (10 mg/kg) and renal (1 mg/kg) domains. CONCLUSIONS: Belimumab treatment improved overall SLE disease activity in the most common musculoskeletal and mucocutaneous organ domains. Less worsening occurred in the haematological, immunological and renal domains.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 05/2012; 71(11):1833-1838. · 9.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to describe the frequency, attribution, outcome and predictors of seizures in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
The Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics, or SLICC, performed a prospective inception cohort study. Demographic variables, global SLE disease activity (SLE Disease Activity Index 2000), cumulative organ damage (SLICC/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index (SDI)) and neuropsychiatric events were recorded at enrolment and annually. Lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin, anti-β(2) glycoprotein-I, antiribosomal P and anti-NR2 glutamate receptor antibodies were measured at enrolment. Physician outcomes of seizures were recorded. Patient outcomes were derived from the SF-36 (36-Item Short Form Health Survey) mental component summary and physical component summary scores. Statistical analyses included Cox and linear regressions.
The cohort was 89.4% female with a mean follow-up of 3.5±2.9 years. Of 1631 patients, 75 (4.6%) had ≥1 seizure, the majority around the time of SLE diagnosis. Multivariate analysis indicated a higher risk of seizures with African race/ethnicity (HR (CI): 1.97 (1.07 to 3.63); p=0.03) and lower education status (1.97 (1.21 to 3.19); p<0.01). Higher damage scores (without neuropsychiatric variables) were associated with an increased risk of subsequent seizures (SDI=1:3.93 (1.46 to 10.55); SDI=2 or 3:1.57 (0.32 to 7.65); SDI≥4:7.86 (0.89 to 69.06); p=0.03). There was an association with disease activity but not with autoantibodies. Seizures attributed to SLE frequently resolved (59/78 (76%)) in the absence of antiseizure drugs. There was no significant impact on the mental component summary or physical component summary scores. Antimalarial drugs in the absence of immunosuppressive agents were associated with reduced seizure risk (0.07 (0.01 to 0.66); p=0.03).
Seizures occurred close to SLE diagnosis, in patients with African race/ethnicity, lower educational status and cumulative organ damage. Most seizures resolved without a negative impact on health-related quality of life. Antimalarial drugs were associated with a protective effect.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 04/2012; 71(9):1502-9. · 9.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the utility of interferon-α (IFN-α) in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as a biomarker of disease activity in central neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (cNPSLE).
Serum and CSF samples were drawn at hospitalization in 34 patients with cNPSLE, 16 surgical SLE, 4 primary neuropsychiatric conditions, and 25 with nonautoimmune conditions, except in 44 non-NPSLE patients in whom only serum was studied. Six months later, serum/CSF and serum samples were taken in 20 cNPSLE and 35 non-NPSLE patients, respectively. SLE activity was assessed at hospitalization, and 6 months later in cNPSLE and non-NPSLE patients. IFN-α was detected by Luminex technology.
The mean ± SD age of patients with cNPSLE was 31.4 ± 12.2 years, which was similar across the study groups (p = 0.46). Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K) scores among cNPSLE, non-NPSLE, and SLE-surgical patients were 15.3 ± 8.2, 12.4 ± 8.2, and 3.8 ± 1.5, respectively. IFN-α levels in serum were higher in cNPSLE than in nonautoimmune patients (p = 0.02), but were similar to non-NPSLE and SLE-surgical groups. In CSF samples, IFN-α levels were higher in cNPSLE than in nonautoimmune patients (p = 0.03), and were nonsignificantly higher than in SLE-surgical and primary neuropsychiatric patients. Six months later, serum levels of IFN-α did not vary from baseline values despite a significant decrease in SLEDAI-2K score in cNPSLE and non-NPSLE patients. IFN-α levels in the CSF of patients with cNPSLE also remained stable. Among specific cNPSLE syndromes, CSF IFN-α levels were significantly higher among patients with acute confusional syndrome.
IFN-α does not seem to represent a useful biomarker of cNPSLE syndromes; its utility in specific cNPSLE manifestations merits further investigation.
The Journal of Rheumatology 03/2012; 39(3):504-9. · 3.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of rituximab in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial in patients with lupus nephritis treated concomitantly with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and corticosteroids.
Patients (n = 144) with class III or class IV lupus nephritis were randomized 1:1 to receive rituximab (1,000 mg) or placebo on days 1, 15, 168, and 182. The primary end point was renal response status at week 52.
Rituximab depleted peripheral CD19+ B cells in 71 of 72 patients. The overall (complete and partial) renal response rates were 45.8% among the 72 patients receiving placebo and 56.9% among the 72 patients receiving rituximab (P = 0.18); partial responses accounted for most of the difference. The primary end point (superior response rate with rituximab) was not achieved. Eight placebo-treated patients and no rituximab-treated patients required cyclophosphamide rescue therapy through week 52. Statistically significant improvements in serum complement C3, C4, and anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) levels were observed among patients treated with rituximab. In both treatment groups, a reduction in anti-dsDNA levels greater than the median reduction was associated with reduced proteinuria. The rates of serious adverse events, including infections, were similar in both groups. Neutropenia, leukopenia, and hypotension occurred more frequently in the rituximab group.
Although rituximab therapy led to more responders and greater reductions in anti-dsDNA and C3/C4 levels, it did not improve clinical outcomes after 1 year of treatment. The combination of rituximab with MMF and corticosteroids did not result in any new or unexpected safety signals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Premature atherosclerosis in patients with SLE is partially explained by traditional risk factors; therefore, we aimed to identify lupus-related risk factors for coronary artery calcifications.
An inception cohort of 139 lupus patients (93% females) was screened for coronary artery calcifications using Multidetector CT, after 5.1 years of follow-up. Clinical and immunological variables and cardiovascular risk factors were assessed longitudinally. Also, 100 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects were studied. Correlates for calcifications were analysed in lupus patients, including levels of lipids and inflammatory molecules in samples obtained at enrolment, mid-term follow-up and at screening.
At enrolment, lupus patients were 27.2 (9.1) years of age and with a disease duration of 5.4 (3.8) months. Calcifications were detected in 7.2% of patients and 1% of controls [unadjusted odds ratio (OR) 7.7, 95% CI 1.05, 336.3, P = 0.02]. In lupus, calcifications were detected since the age of 23 years and from 3 years of diagnosis. Patients with calcifications were older, post-menopausal, and had higher levels of serum apolipoprotein B and Framingham risk scores (P < 0.05). Lupus-related factors identified included age at diagnosis, IgG aCLs, cumulative lupus activity, length of moderate/severe activity and cumulative dose of prednisone and CYC (P < 0.05). Use of anti-malarials was protective (P = 0.006). Logistic regression analysis showed as predictors of calcification: disease duration (OR 15.1, 95% CI 2.6, 87.2), age at enrolment (OR 8.5, 95% CI 1.7, 43.0) and SLEDAI 2000 update (SLEDAI-2K) mean area under the curve (OR 12.3, 95% CI 2.5, 61.8). Longitudinal analyses of lipids and inflammatory molecules did not differ between patients.
Disease activity is a potentially modifiable risk factor for coronary artery calcifications in SLE. Therefore, management of traditional risk factors plus tight control of lupus activity, including the use of anti-malarials, is recommended.