Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with premature atherothrombotic complications. Hyperhomocysteinemia is considered a cardiovascular risk factor. Increased vascular stiffness may increase cardiovascular mortality. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a noninvasive method of analyzing vascular stiffness in the assessment of atherosclerosis. The objective of this study was to identify the relationship between plasma homocysteine levels and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) measurement in SLE. Plasma homocysteine, baPWV, ankle-brachial index, blood pressure, C3, C4, anticardiolipin antibody (aCL), and anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies were determined in a total of 58 female patients with SLE. The control group comprised 32 age-matched healthy females. In addition, all patients were further classified into subgroups according to the presence of aCL (SLE/aCL+, n=27 vs SLE/aCL-, n=31) to determine the effect of aCL on the tested variables. The mean values for plasma homocysteine and baPWV were 13.19 μmol/l and 1,482 cm/s, respectively. Plasma homocysteine levels were significantly elevated in SLE patients when compared with the healthy controls. SLE patients with aCL had a significantly higher plasma homocysteine level than those without aCL. A significant positive correlation between plasma homocysteine and baPWV was found in patients with SLE (r=0.335, P=0.028, n=58). Plasma homocysteine also significantly correlated with right baPWV in all SLE patients (r=0.371, P=0.014, n=58) and in the SLE/aCL+ group (r=0.523, P=0.031, n=27). These findings indicate a possible link between plasma homocysteine and baPWV in SLE. In conclusion, SLE patients had an increased level of plasma homocysteine, and this phenomenon appeared to be related to vascular stiffness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas