Assessment of atherosclerotic risk factors and endothelial function in children and young adults with pediatric-onset systemic lupus erythematosus




To characterize atherosclerotic risk factors and endothelial function in pediatric-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).


Lipoproteins, oxidized state, and autoantibodies to oxidized low-density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) were assessed. Endothelial function was evaluated using brachial artery reactivity.


Thirty-three SLE patients and 30 controls were studied. SLE subjects had significantly decreased mean high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (41 mg/dl versus 51 mg/dl; P = 0.002) and apolipoprotein A-I (97 mg/dl versus 199 mg/dl; P = 0.0004). There was no difference between groups in markers of oxidized state (including nitric oxide metabolites, isoprostanes, and Ox-LDL) or in endothelial function. However, SLE subjects had increased median anti-Ox-LDL IgG (2,480 relative light units [RLU] versus 1,567 RLU; P = 0.0007) and IgG immune complexes with LDL (4,222 RLU versus 2,868 RLU; P = 0.002).


Pediatric SLE patients had significantly decreased levels of HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I and elevated titers of autoantibodies to Ox-LDL. Despite these atherosclerotic risk factors, SLE patients had normal measures of oxidized state and endothelial function.