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Urine sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1 levels are elevated in lupus nephritis


Correspondence: Dr Hwee Siew Howe, Department of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433, Singapore. Email:



We sought to evaluate the relationship of urine levels of soluble cellular adhesion molecules sVCAM-1 (vascular) and sICAM-1 (intercellular) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients with or without lupus nephritis, and to explore their correlation with renal disease activity.


Paired serum and urine samples of 121 Asian SLE patients, and urine samples of 19 normal healthy controls were collected. Demographic data, disease activity and damage scores, and selected laboratory parameters, including levels of anti-double stranded DNA antibody, complements C3, C4, and creatinine were captured. Renal disease activity was scored with renal SLE Activity Measure revised (rSLAM-R). Serum and urine sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1 levels were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


Urinary sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1 were elevated in SLE patients compared to controls. Significantly higher levels of urine sVCAM-1 found in patients with active lupus nephritis correlated with rSLAM-R. In addtion, significantly more patients with active lupus nephritis had detectable levels of urine sICAM-1, but no correlation with renal activity was observed.


Urinary sVCAM-1 may serve as a potential biomarker for early diagnosis of lupus nephritis as levels correlated with even mild abnormalities of urine sediment. In addition, both urine sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1 levels may be useful in identifying patients at risk of lupus nephritis.

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