Coronary, Carotid, and Lower-extremity Atherosclerosis and Their Interrelationship in Danish Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Atherosclerosis is highly prevalent among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but has been demonstrated predominantly in non-European SLE cohorts and few investigations have included more than 1 imaging modality. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of atherosclerosis in 3 frequently affected vascular territories, the coronary, carotid, and lower-extremity arteries, in a Danish, predominantly population-based SLE cohort.

METHODS: Patients with SLE without prior cardiovascular disease (CVD; n = 103) were screened for coronary artery calcification, carotid intima-media thickening and plaque, and abnormal ankle-brachial index by means of cardiac computed tomography, ultrasound of the carotid arteries, and ankle systolic blood pressure.

RESULTS: In patients with SLE, the prevalence of atherosclerosis in any vascular territory was 41%. The distribution of the atherosclerotic manifestations showed an overlap with 45% of the patients having involvement in more than 1 vascular territory. However, more than one-third of the patients with SLE with coronary, carotid, or lower-extremity atherosclerosis exclusively demonstrated this particular manifestation. Based on a multiple logistic regression model, age (p < 0.001), current smoking (p = 0.009), and the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC; p = 0.008) were significant independent risk factors for atherosclerosis at any vascular territory.

CONCLUSION: Atherosclerosis is highly prevalent among Danish patients with SLE without prior CVD. Screening for atherosclerosis in 1 vascular territory is insufficient in diagnosing atherosclerosis in patients with SLE. In Danish patients with SLE, the presence of atherosclerosis was not only assigned to traditional CV risk factors, but also associated with SLICC.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftThe Journal of Rheumatology
Vol/bind43
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)315-322
ISSN0315-162X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2016

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