Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in systemic lupus erythematosus: the beer sheva experience Academic Article uri icon


  • Accelerated atherosclerosis is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus. It is no longer a matter of dispute that SLE patients have an increased risk of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, particularly before the age of 50. The incidence of coronary heart disease in women with SLE aged 35–44 years has been estimated to be 50fold greater than in the general population, and the cumulative prevalence of CAD in SLE patients was 8.9%. Early detection and management of atherosclerosis may reduce the morbidity and improve the survival of patients with SLE [1]. One of the primary objectives of the Soroka Medical Center Lupus Clinic is directed at unraveling the prevalence of atherosclerotic CVD in SLE as well as identifying possible pathogenic mechanisms and searching for early detection of clinical and subclinical CVD in patients with SLE. Prevalence of atherosclerosis in SLE We used ultrasonic biopsy to detect intimal and medial changes in the common carotid and common femoral arteries of patients with SLE and their matched controls. Ultrasonic biopsy is a noninvasive technique able to recognize early atherosclerotic changes in the blood vessel walls. The technique identifies alterations in the morphology of the posterior wall and atherosclerotic plaques and it has a high predictive value for development of symptomatic CVD [2]. Fifty-one consecutive SLE patients and their matched healthy contols were enrolled in the study [3]. The major outcome measures included the intima-media thickness of the posterior

publication date

  • January 1, 2008