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Does systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) activity have an impact on the ocular surface?

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Session Details

Session Title: Presented Poster Session: Miscellaneous and Infections

Venue: Poster Village: Pod 3

First Author: : M.Wiącek POLAND

Co Author(s): :    M. Modrzejewska   D. Bobrowska Snarska   W. Lubinski   M. Brzosko     

Abstract Details


Purpose: Chronic local and systemic immune activation, as well as increased tear film osmolarity in SLE patients may lead to dry eye syndrome. However, the immune privileged status of the cornea and systemic immunomodulating treatment make the evaluation of the correlation between SLE activity and ocular surface condition difficult. We aimed to evaluate the impact of activity of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with or without secondary antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) on ocular surface condition with particular emphasis on tear film disorders.


1. Department of Ophthalmology, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland 2. Department of Rheumatology,Internal Diseases and Geriatrics, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland


Methods: For the study, 107 women were enrolled – 43 with SLE (mean age: 40.81+/-13.49 years), 21 with SLE and APS (mean: 44.14+/-13.35 years), and 43 healthy controls (mean: 41.31+/-13.33 years). All women filled anonymous questionnaires with questions referring to ocular symptoms, ophthalmologist's care, accompanying Sjöegren’s syndrome, disease course and treatment. SLE activity was evaluated by the use of SLE-Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI). The routine ophthalmological examination was performed. The anterior segment condition was evaluated by slit lamp examination and Schirmer's II and tear break up tests were performed. p-Values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.


Results: In SLE patients a mean number of declared ocular symptoms was 1.8; compared with healthy individuals 0.53 (p<0.05). SLE and SLE with APS groups were not statistically significantly different. The mean age of SLE diagnosis in patients declaring two or more symptoms was 38.65+/-13.74 years, while for one or less symptoms - 30.13+/-14.82 years (p<0,05). The tear break up test, measured in seconds, in the right eye was 6.01+/-5.6 and 10.09+/-5.79 in the patient and healthy groups, respectively (p<0.05), and 5.84+/-5.75 and 10.19+/-5.94, respectively, in the left eye (p<0.05). This parameter correlated significantly with SLEDAI.


Conclusions: Disease activity has a significant impact on ocular surface condition in SLE patients. Patients with SLE and APS complain of ocular symptoms more frequently than healthy individuals. Establishment of the diagnosis at an earlier age results in decreased ocular ailments in those patients.

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