Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus experienced significant clinical improvement in disease activity after treatment with statin therapy, according to study results.
Researchers tested plasma/serum samples from 21 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; mean age, 44.6 years; 86% women) placed on statin therapy before and after at least 6 months of treatment. Systemic Lupus Activity Measure-Revised (SLAM-R) scores were used to assess disease activity.
A multiplex immunoassay determined interleukin-1B, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) levels. ELISA assays were used to measure soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 and anticardiolipin antibodies. Nephelometry measured high sensitivity C-reactive protein. Plasma/serum samples also were taken from 32 frequency-matched control patients (85% women, aged 18 to 65 years) who had no evidence of inflammatory or autoimmune disease.
Patients with SLE had significantly elevated median levels of IL-6 (9.84 vs. 0), VEGF (261.19 vs. 88.29), sCD40L (1737.41 vs. 1635) and TNF-a (7.19 vs. 0) compared with controls. There was a decrease in SLAM-R scores after patients received statin therapy (P=.0199); however biomarker levels did not experience significant changes. SLAM-R scores did not have a significant association with biomarkers.
“We have shown that statin therapy resulted in statistically significant clinical improvement in SLE patients as measured by reductions in SLAM-R scores and may be beneficial in the treatment of lupus patients,” the researchers concluded.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.