A pilot study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of Pycnogenol treatment in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. Eleven SLE patients were treated with first line medication according to disease activity and in addition, six of them received Pycnogenol and five a placebo. The SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI), serum anti-dsDNA antibodies, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein levels, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by neutrophils, spontaneous apoptosis and p56(lck) specific activity in peripheral blood lymphocytes were evaluated. Pycnogenol treatment determined a significant reduction of ROS production, apoptosis, p56(lck) specific activity and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. In addition, the decrease of SLEDAI was significant in the Pycnogenol treated group compared with the placebo group (p = 0.018). The results obtained suggest that Pycnogenol could be useful for second line therapy to reduce the inflammatory feature of SLE.
Copyright 2001 John WIley & Sons, Ltd.