The objective of this work was to conduct a systematic literature review (SLR) and meta-analysis (MA) to evaluate the relative risk (RR) of venous thromboembolism (VTE) events, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) compared with patients without SLE, as well as the absolute risk (AR) (measured by incidence proportion) and incidence rate (IR) of VTE events in patients with SLE. The SLR was conducted using Embase, MEDLINE, and MEDLINE In-Process to identify observational studies evaluating the risk of VTE, DVT, and PE events in adult patients with SLE compared with the general population, published January 2000 to September 2020. Random-effects models were used as the primary approach in the MA. Heterogeneity was assessed on the basis of the I2 value. Sensitivity analyses were performed to assess the robustness of results to various conditions, and subgroup analysis was performed for the AR of VTE by antiphospholipid status (aPLs) and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Of the 50 publications included for data extraction, 44 contained data for consideration in the MA of any one of the measures of interest (RR, AR, or IR) for VTE, DVT, or PE. The pooled RR indicates statistically significantly higher risk of VTE (RR 4.38, 95% confidence interval 2.63-7.29) in patients with SLE compared with the general population. Considerable heterogeneity was present in nearly all MA (I2 = 75-100%). Moreover, a higher pooled AR of VTE was estimated in patients with SLE with aPLs (n/N = 0.13) and APS (n/N = 0.63) compared with patients with SLE without aPLs/APS (n/N = 0.07). Overall, there was evidence of an increased risk of VTE, DVT, and PE in patients with SLE compared with the general population.
Keywords: Meta-analysis; Systematic literature review; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Venous thromboembolism.
© 2022. The Author(s).