Eye Changes in People with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus as a Potential Biomarker
In a new study, researchers examined changes in the eyeballs of people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and discovered differences that might be related to disease activity, and could potentially be used as biomarkers for diagnosing SLE.
The eyes of a group of 54 people living with SLE were examined using a non-invasive technique for imaging called optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA), which captures three-dimensional (3D) images of the retina. Of the group, 29 people had SLE and 25 were healthy controls. Using OCTA, the retinal and choroidal thickness and vascular density between the two groups were compared. The eyes of people with SLE had significantly increased retinal superficial vascular density, as well as significantly decreased retinal deep vascular density and choriocapillary vascular density compared to the eyes of healthy people. Additionally, a slight curvature was noted in people with SLE, and a correlation was discovered between disease activity and the foveal avascular zone of the retina.
Early diagnosis can help improve disease outcomes, but more research is needed to establish the viability of retinal and choroidal thickness and vascular density as biomarkers for SLE. Learn more about how lupus affects the eyes.
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