Rheological alterations and thrombotic events in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2012; 51(1):51-8.CH
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterised by increased venous and arterial thrombotic risk. Nevertheless, how hemorheological alterations contribute to thrombotic risk remains a question of debate. We aimed to determine the rheological profile in 105 patients with SLE (24 with a thrombotic event) and 105 healthy controls. We determined blood viscosity and erythrocyte aggregation along with plasma lipids and fibrinogen. Although SLE patients showed lower blood viscosity at 230 s(-1) at a native hematocrit when compared with controls (p < 0.001), differences disappeared after adjusting the hematocrit to 45% (p = 0.095). When comparing SLE patients with and without thrombotic events, no differences in any rheological parameter were found (p > 0.05), except in fibrinogen which was higher in patients with thrombosis (p = 0.013). No differences in the rheological parameters were observed when venous and arterial thrombotic events were compared, although a tendency for higher fibrinogen was observed in patients with venous thrombosis (p = 0.053). Only hematocrit, fibrinogen and triglycerides were independent predictors of native blood viscosity in the multivariate regression analysis, even after adjusting for continuous variables and for tobacco and hypertension: beta coefficient: 0.727 p < 0.001; beta coefficient: 0.152 p = 0.003 and beta coefficient: 0.133 p = 0.015, respectively. The logistic regression analysis revealed that neither increased native blood viscosity (BVn > 4.33) nor increased erythrocyte aggregation (EA1 > 7.85) increased thrombotic risk: OR 0.636, CI 0.313-3.12, p = 0.578 and OR 2.01, CI 0.77-5.20, p = 0.152, respectively. However, hyperfibrinogenemia (Fbg > 342 mg/dL) increased thrombotic risk by around three times: OR 3.44 CI 1.32-8.96, p = 0.011. Our results suggest that the role of blood viscosity and erythrocyte aggregation in thrombotic risk in SLE patients fails to demonstrate any association.