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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 164

of 'Pathogenesis of Sjögren's syndrome'

Cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction in systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, primary Sjögren syndrome and other autoimmune diseases.
Stojanovich L, Milovanovich B, de Luka SR, Popovich-Kuzmanovich D, Bisenich V, Djukanovich B, Randjelovich T, Krotin M
Lupus. 2007;16(3):181.
Neurological manifestations are known to occur in patients with autoimmune diseases, often subclinically, but autonomic nervous system (ANS) involvement has rarely been studied, and studies have shown conflicting results. We performed cardiovascular ANS assessment in 125 patients with autoimmune diseases in this case-control study, including 54 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 39 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 20 with primary Sjbgren syndrome (pSS), eight patients with polymyalgia rheumatica (PR), four patients with scleroderma (Ssc) and 35 healthy control subjects. The control group was formed to approximately match the mean age of SLE, RA and pSS patients; controls did not differ significantly by gender from the autoimmune pations. All patients with were in stable condition. Autonomic nervous system dysfunction was diagnosed by applying cardiovascular reflex tests according to Ewing, and was considered to exist if at least two tests were positive. Vagal dysfunction was established by applying three tests: Valsalva manoeuvre, deep breathing test, and heart rate response to standing. Sympathetic dysfunction was examined by applying two tests: blood pressure response to standing and handgrip test. In all cardiovascular reflex tests, frequencies of abnormal results were significantly higher among the patients than among the controls (P<0.05). The difference between the autoimmune patients and the controls was particularly significant in sympathetic and parasympathetic tests, with P<0.0001. No correlation was found between disease duration, clinical manifestations, cardiovascular risk factors and diseases activity on the one hand, and ANS dysfunction on the other hand. Cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction was revealed in the majority of autoimmune patients.
Bezhanijska Kosa University Medical Center, Belgrade, Serbia. ljudmila_stojanovich@yahoo.com