A. CARABĂ*, GERMAINE SĂVOIU**, VIORICA CRIŞAN***, CORINA GORUN**, IULIANA ZVARICI*, I. ROMOŞAN*
*Department of Internal Medicine, **Department of Pathophysiology, ***Department of Rheumatology, “Victor Babeş” University of Medicine and Pharmaceutics, Timişoara
Abstract. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis; endothelial dysfunction representing the first step in its pathogenesis. The aim of this study is represented by the assessment of the endothelial dysfunction in SLE and the characterization of SLE specific factors which contribute to its appearance. The study was done on 24 subjects, divided into two groups: group A (12 patients with SLE without renal involvement) and group B (12 healthy sex and age-matched controls). Total cholesterol, triglycerides, antinuclear antibodies, anti dsDNA antibodies, C3, circulating immune complexes were determined in all patients. SLE activity was assessed using SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI). Endothelial function was assessed by means of flow mediated dilation (FMD) on brachial artery, using B-mode ultrasonography. The statistically analysis was done using Pearson’s test and Student’s t-test. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The group of SLE patients was formed by 12 females, with the mean age of 37.16 ± 9.69 years. The values of SLE specific tests and SLEDAI were represented by: anti dsDNA antibodies 1/682 ± 1/914, C3 68.91 ± 11.91 mg/dL, circulating immune complexes 10.03 ± 2.85 μEq/mL, total cholesterol 208.66 ± 49.63 mg/dL, triglycerides 153.41 ± 46.26 mg/dL, SLEDAI 11,66 ± 3.70. The values of FMD were 8.85 ± 2.02% (group A) and 20.33 ± 6.19% (group B), p < 0.001. The statistically analysis showed a strong inverse correlation between FMD and SLEDAI, a strong correlation between FMD and C3, respective anti dsDNA antibodies, a moderate inverse correlation between FMD and circulating immune complexes, total cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Endothelial dysfunction is present in SLE patients even in the absence of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, due to disease’s activity.
Key words: endothelial dysfunction, systemic lupus erythematosus.