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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Paradoxical association between blood modular interferon signatures and quality of life in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Julie Seguier, Elisabeth Jouve, Mickaël Bobot, Elisabeth Whalen, Bertrand Dussol, Stéphanie Gentile, Stéphane Burtey, Philippe Halfon, Frédérique Retornaz, Damien Chaussabel, Laurent Chiche, Noémie Jourde-Chiche
Rheumatology 2019 November 27
31776548

OBJECTIVES: Blood transcriptomic IFN signature is a hallmark of SLE. The impaired health-related quality of life (HRQOL) observed in SLE is poorly related to disease activity. The aim of this study was to test how IFN signatures were associated with HRQOL in SLE patients.

METHODS: Among consecutive patients, blood transcriptomic profiles were analysed with a modular framework comprising 3 IFN modules: M1.2, M3.4 and M5.12. Disease activity was evaluated by the SLEDAI score, and HRQOL was assessed with the SF-36 questionnaire, which includes eight domains: physical function, role physical, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role emotional, and mental health (MH) and physical component summary and mental component summary scores.

RESULTS: A total of 57 SLE patients were evaluated, among whom 27 (47%) were clinically quiescent, 30 (53%) were flaring, and 19 (33%) had active lupus nephritis. All SF-36 domains were altered in SLE patients compared with the general French population (P < 0.0001). In multivariate analysis, taking into account flares, age, ethnicity, smoking and renal severity, social functioning was independently associated with the IFN score (P = 0.027). Analyses restrained to quiescent patients (n = 27) yielded greater associations between social functioning and the three IFN modules, and between MH and M3.4. Considering all quiescent visits (n = 51), the IFN score was independently correlated with social functioning (P = 0.022) and MH (P = 0.038).

CONCLUSION: This unexpected paradoxical association between IFN signature and some specific HRQOL domains argues against a pivotal role of IFNs in the persistently altered HRQOL of SLE patients.

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