Premature atherosclerotic disease in systemic lupus erythematosus - Role of inflammatory mechanisms

Elisa Y. Rhew*, Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Mounting evidence from a growing body of epidemiologic studies demonstrates that patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are at increased risk for the development of premature cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, awareness of accelerated atherosclerosis in young SLE patients, albeit growing, is still limited, as documented by the brief case presented. Inflammation is thought to play an important role in both the pathogenesis of SLE, as well as atherosclerotic vascular disease. Inflammatory processes that are shared by SLE and atherosclerotic disease include immune complex deposition and fixation, autoantibody binding, complement activation and CD40-CD40 ligand interaction. By examining the inflammatory mechanisms in common between SLE and atherosclerotic disease, we can come to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of the accelerated atherosclerotic process seen in patients with SLE and can gain insights into developing and instituting preventative and treatment strategies. In this article, we present a case of a young woman with SLE who presents with chest pain, followed by a review of inflammation-based pathogenic mechanisms that are shared by SLE and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Inflammation
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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