Autoimmune hemolytic anemia in systemic lupus erythematosus: association with thrombocytopenia
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Hematological disturbances are common in systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). Specifically, autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AHA) may manifest in SLE patients at the time of diagnosis or within the first year of the disease. AHA is often associated with thrombocytopenia, lupus nephritis, and central nervous system activity. In this study we investigated these associations in Brazilian patients with SLE. Forty-four consecutive SLE patients who had a history of AHA were age, gender, and disease duration matched with 318 SLE patients without AHA who formed the control group. All patients fulfilled the revised American College of Rheumatology criteria for SLE and were followed-up within our Service. Clinical and laboratorial manifestations were similar in both groups, except for the predominance of leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and anti-dsDNA on univariate analysis in the AHA group. The multivariate logistic regression model revealed risk only for thrombocytopenia in the AHA group compared to the control group (odds ratio, 2.70; 95% confidence interval, 1.32–5.50). Our results corroborate previous data that AHA in SLE increases the risk of thrombocytopenia in individuals with SLE. This association suggests a common mechanism in AHA and SLE pathophysiologies.