Carotid Ultrasound Assessments Lead to Identification and Reclassification of Cardiovascular Risk in People with Lupus
Heart disease is a major complication of lupus. Traditionally, composite scores of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors are used to rank CV risk in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). A group of researchers explored using a carotid artery ultrasound (US) to classify CV risk in those with lupus. The test has been found to effectively identify high CV risk in people with inflammatory arthritis.
Lipid profile, Systemic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) risk calculation, carotid plaques, lupus disease activity, severity and damage were assessed in 276 people via US. The ultrasound revealed that 36% had carotid plaques when only 6% had been noted as high or at very high CV risk by their SCORE risk calculation. The US findings required 32% of the patients to be reclassified as very high risk. Disease duration and the person’s Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) score also showed to predict disease damage.
People with lupus should speak with their physician about their care and treatment. Learn about how lupus affects the heart and circulation.