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Fibrinolysis and coagulation abnormalities in systemic lupus erythematosus

Relationhip with Raynaud's phenomenon, disease activity, inflammatory indices, anticardiolipin antibodies and corticosteroid therapy


Endothelial cell damage in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) was evaluated by measuring fibrinolytic activity and von Willebrand factor levels. Tissuetype plasminogen activator (t-PA) antigen, plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI) activity, and von Willebrand factor antigen (vWF:Ag) and activity (vWF:RCof) were measured in 21 SLE patients (12 of whom were therapy free) and 22 controls. In addition, the relationship between such parameters and Raynaud's phenomenon, disease activity [according to personal criteria, Systemic Lupus Activity Measure (SLAM) and European Consensus Lupus Activity Measurement (ECLAM) scores], inflammatory indices [ESR, C-reactive protein (CRP), α2-globulin], anticardiolipin antibodies and corticosteroid therapy was investigated. Lower levels of t-PA antigen (P=0.003) and higher levels of vWF:Ag (P=0.001) were found in SLE patients in comparison with controls. Moreover, t-PA antigen was lower (P=0.02) in steroidfree patients in comparison with those taking steroids. No relationship was found between fibrinolysis and coagulation abnormalities and Raynaud's phenomenon, disease activity, inflammatory indices and anticardiolipin antibodies. Endothelial cell damage is probably a common feature in SLE patients; nervertheless, we were unable to clarify the nature of such abnormality. It is worth noting that low doses of steroids seem to be effective in improving endothelial cell function in SLE patients.

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Correspondence to A. Doria.

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Doria, A., Ghirardello, A., Boscaro, M. et al. Fibrinolysis and coagulation abnormalities in systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatol Int 14, 207–211 (1995).

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Key words

  • Fibrinolysis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Tissue plasminogen activator
  • Endothelial injury
  • Antiphospholipid antibodies
  • Corticosteroid therapy