The influence of antimalarials on lipids in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been identified in several studies but not in many prospective cohorts. The aim of this study was to longitudinally determine the effect of antimalarials on the lipoprotein profile in SLE.
Patients and methods: Fasting total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) plasma levels were determined at entry and after 3 months of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) treatment in a longitudinal evaluation of 24 patients with SLE.
Results: a significant decrease in TC (198 ± 33.7 vs. 183 ± 30.3 mg/dl, p = 0.023) and LDL levels (117 ± 31.3 vs. 101 ± 26.2 mg/dl, p = 0.023) were detected after the 3 months of HCQ therapy. The reduction of 7.6% in TC (p = 0.055) and 13.7% in LDL levels (p = 0.036) determined a significant decrease in the frequency of dyslipidemia (26% vs. 12.5%, p = 0.013) after HCQ therapy.
Conclusion: This longitudinal study demonstrated the beneficial effect of antimalarials on lipids in SLE since this therapy induced a reduction of atherogenic lipoproteins.