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New Biomarker Detects Heart Disease Risk in Lupus Patients

New Biomarker Detects Heart Disease Risk in Lupus Patients

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  • Lupus is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by inflammation and could affect the different tissues in the body.
  • Specific biomarker known as High sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T (HS-cTnT) in the blood of a lupus patient with no symptoms of heart disease can detect the risk of heart disease.
  • The study points that the biomarker could be a more reliable way of evaluating cardiovascular risk in lupus patients.

A specific biomarker known as High sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T (HS-cTnT) in the blood of a lupus patient who had no symptoms of cardiovascular disease (CVD), can detect the risk of cardiovascular disease like atherosclerosis.

However, the overall risk of having fatty deposits (plaques) in the carotid artery that delivers blood to the brain due to atherosclerosis has been found to increase by a factor of 8 times in those lupus patients who had a biomarker in their blood.


Dr. Karim Sacre, Bichat Hospital, France, said, "The results of our study raise the possibility that this easily measured biomarker could be introduced into clinical practice as a more reliable way of evaluating CVD risk in lupus patients."

"This in turn will enable more effective primary prevention measures such as treating abnormally raised blood lipids to be implemented," he added.

Study Findings
The findings using a vascular ultrasound revealed that

Around 23 out of 63 (26.5%) consecutive lupus patients were found to have signs of carotid plaques when compared to only 2 out of 18 (11.1%) of the control group.

None of the patients nor the controls were found to have symptoms of CVD and all of them had low Framingham risk factor score ( a risk factor score that gives an estimation of the risk of cardiovascular disease for 10years.)

The age and lupus disease status were independently associated with the presence of carotid plaques.

About 87% of the Lupus patients with carotid plaques had a detectable HS-cTNT. And only 42.5% of lupus patients without plaques had a detectable blood level of HS-cTNT.

And also around 54.5% of lupus patients with a detectable HS-cTNT. And only 11.5% with an undetectable HS-cTNT had a carotid plaque.

Dr. Sacre said, "Before introducing this new biomarker into clinical practice, we are conducting further research to confirm our findings on a larger cohort of patients, with a longer follow up period, analyzing not only carotid plaques, but also the occurrence of major cardiovascular events."

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
The systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease. The body's immune system could mistakenly attack the immune disease and is characterized by inflammation that could affect different tissues, including the skin, joint linings, lungs, kidneys and other organs.

This could predominantly affect women and could occur 10 times more often than in men. Lupus frequently starts at child-bearing age. The disease could be highly variable in the way it could be present and can also tell the outcome among individuals and across different ancestral groups.

Symptoms of Lupus
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • General discomfort
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Lupus Patients
The risk of premature cardiovascular disease is more common in young premenopausal women who have lupus when compared to healthy women of similar age.

The cardiovascular disease could be a significant threat to their health and could be a major cause of death and ill-health in lupus patients.

Traditional risk factors such as 'Framingham score' has been previously underestimated the risk of CVD in the population.

  1. Systemic lupus erythematosus - ( https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000435.htm)

Source: Medindia

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