Accelerated atherosclerisis in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Barbara Maria Colombo, G. Murdaca, B. Sprecacenere, G. Rodriguez, E. Rossi, F. Puppo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Accelerated atherosclerosis is an emerging problem in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). We have planned an observational study to determine whether in patients with SLE carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) represents an early sign of accelerated atherosclerosis and to confirm that SLE adds to the traditional cardiovascular Framingham risk factors. Methods: In the Department of Internal Medicine of the University of Genova we have analysed 40 females with SLE (age 18-65 years) who underwent anamnestic, clinical and laboratory evaluation and B-mode ultrasonography of carotid arteries that provides a direct and noninvasive assessment of subclinical atherosclerosis. IMT measurements were performed on the right and left common carotid arteries 1.0 cm proximal to the carotid bulb and the mean IMT value was calculated with a dedicated software. The Framingham Point Score was also calculated for each subject. Results: SLE patients showed a mean IMT value of 0.71 ± 0.11 (SD) mm. This value is higher than that reported for a normal population (0.51 ± 0.08 SD mm) in a previously published study. A preliminary evaluation of the Framingham Point Score, estimating the ten year risk for women to develop cardiovascular events, indicated an increased risk of early cardiovascular events in SLE patients. Conclusions: In our study we have shown that patients with SLE have an increased mean IMT value as compared with a normal population. Moreover, the evaluation of the Framingham Point Score suggests that SLE is an additional risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
JournalItalian Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006


  • Accelerated atherosclerosis
  • Framingham Point Score
  • Intima-media thickness (IMT)
  • Systemic Lupus Erythamatosus (SLE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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