Atherosclerosis in systemic lupus erythematosus

Yaniv Sherer*, Hasia Zinger, Yehuda Shoenfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune rheumatic disease that has a late mortality phase owing mainly to cardiovascular manifestations. Atherosclerosis itself is characterized by inflammatory components, fulfilling the criteria of Witebsky and Rose for an autoimmune disease. SLE patients have increased risk for cardiovascular events, and these are the result of both atherosclerosis and thromboembolic events. Risk factors for atherosclerosis in SLE include "traditional" risk factors (mainly the Framingham risk factors), as well as disease-related factors including disease duration, steroid therapy, and renal disease, and inflammatory mechanisms that specifically contribute to enhanced atherosclerosis in SLE. These include specific antibodies to β2GPI; anticardiolipin antibodies; anti-oxidized low-density lipoprotein; and antibodies to heat shock proteins, complement activation, impaired ability to activate TGF-β1, and elevated levels of CRP. These findings stress the importance of surveillance and preventive strategies to control atherosclerosis in SLE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Autoantibody
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus


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