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Evaluation of the intima-media complex in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Brygida Przywara-Chowaniec, Maciej Gawlikowski, MichaƂ Paluch, Mariusz Opara, Marek Pluszczyk, Agata Puzio, Ewa Nowalny-Kozielska
Polish Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery 2014, 11 (1): 63-8
26336397

THE AIM OF THE STUDY: The aim of the study was to determine whether there are any differences in the intima-media thickness (IMT) of carotid arteries between the group of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the control group, and whether these differences are a consequence of SLE or independent factors of atherosclerosis development.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The patients were divided into three groups: the study group (n = 25, mean age: 39.8 years) consisting of patients suffering from SLE; the subgroup (n = 13, mean age: 39.2 years) consisting of patients suffering only from SLE without any accompanying diseases; and the control group (n = 25, mean age: 37.1 years) consisting of healthy patients (not suffering from SLE or any other disease of the connective tissue). The IMT of the left and right common carotid arteries (LCCA, RCCA) was measured by means of ultrasound.

RESULTS: The analysis performed with the Mann-Whitney U test showed that a statistically significant difference of IMT occurs between the control group and the study groups (p = 0.006 for LCCA and p < 0.001 for RCCA), while there is no such relation (p = 0.86 for RCCA and p = 0.095 for LCCA) between the control group and the subgroup.

CONCLUSIONS: The group of patients with SLE was found to have an increased IMT in comparison with the reference group. The unfavorable influence of independent factors of atherosclerosis development on the increase of the IMT value in patients with lupus was thus indicated. This observation suggests a faster atherosclerotic process in this group of patients.

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