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Keywords:

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • Thrombosis;
  • Risk factors

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the thrombotic tendency in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) by evaluating congenital or acquired abnormalities associated with an increased risk of venous and/or arterial thrombosis.

Methods

A total of 57 patients with SLE were included in the study. Twenty-one patients (37%) had a history of arterial and/or venous thrombosis and 36 patients (63%) did not have such a history. Sera from 50 healthy controls were examined. Protein C, protein S, antithrombin, D-dimer, fibrinogen, homocysteine, anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL), lupus anticoagulant (LAC), prothrombin G20210A, and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T gene mutation were evaluated.

Results

Protein C, antithrombin, fibrinogen, D-dimer, and homocysteine levels were significantly higher in patients with SLE than in controls. A prothrombin mutation was observed in 2 (4%) of 50 controls and in 6 (11%) of 57 patients. A significantly higher prevalence (P = 0.036) of MTHFR homozygous mutation was observed in patients with SLE (14 [25%] of 57) in comparison with controls (4 [8%] of 50). IgG-aCL and IgM-aCL levels were significantly higher in patients with SLE than in controls (P < 0.0001). The presence of medium-high (≥20 IgG phospholipid units/ml) IgG-aCL antibody titers was significantly higher (P = 0.005) in patients with thrombosis (11 [52%] of 21) than in patients without (5 [14%] of 36) thrombosis. LAC was present in 22 (38.5%) of 57 patients and in none of 50 controls.

Conclusion

In this study, we confirm the association between thrombosis and IgG-aCL at medium-high titers and suggest that the coexistence of other risk factors can affect the expression of thrombosis in patients with SLE.