Table of Contents
ISRN Pediatrics
Volume 2013, Article ID 765253, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Proximal Aortic Stiffness Is Increased in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Activity in Children and Adolescents

1Pediatric Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt
2Clinical Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt

Received 31 May 2013; Accepted 23 August 2013

Academic Editors: G. J. Casimir and K. Tokiwa

Copyright © 2013 Yehia Mohamad El Gamal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are prone to premature atherosclerosis and are at risk for the development of cardiovascular disease. Increased arterial stiffness is emerging as a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. Purpose. To measure proximal aortic stiffness in children and adolescents with SLE. Methods. We studied 16 patients with SLE in activity (mean age years; 16 females), 14 patients with SLE not in activity (mean age years; 4 males, 10 females), and 16 age- and sex-comparable healthy children and adolescents ( years; 4 males, 12 females). Disease activity was determined by the SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI). All subjects underwent echocardiography for assessment of proximal aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) [Ao distance/Ao wave transit time in the aortic arch]. Venous blood samples were collected for ESR. Results. Patients in activity had significantly higher PWV values than controls ( ), while no significant difference was found between patients not in activity and controls. Conclusions. SLE patients with disease activity demonstrate increased PWV and arterial stiffness of the proximal aorta, while patients without disease activity do not. This suggests that inflammation secondary to SLE activity, and not subclinical atherosclerosis, is the major underlying cause for increased arterial stiffness in this age group.