Risk Factors for Progression of Immune Thrombocytopenia to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Researchers, led by Yuqing Song, sought to uncover potential risk factors driving progression of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in pediatric Chinese patients. In the study’s report, published in Annals of Hematology, the authors reported that “older age and hypocomplementemia were potential risk factors for the development from ITP to SLE.”

The retrospective case-control study included a total of 50 patients with ITP that had progressed to SLE, and 100 control patients that had ITP without developing SLE. Uni- and multivariable logistic regression models were developed to identify the risk factors for disease progression.

According to the report, the median time of development of ITP to SLE was 34.5 months (interquartile range [IQR]: 12.5–58.75). The authors identified that the antinuclear antibody (ANA) was significantly different between the groups in univariable analysis but the difference was not present in multivariable analysis (odds ratio = 4.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.97–21.01). Additionally, “age diagnosed ITP was positively associated with SLE (odds ratio [OR] = 1.07 every 5 years, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.15) with alert point at 8 years old (sensitivity 0.82, specificity 0.60),” according to the authors. Lastly, a lower level of complement was also positively associated with SLE (odds ratio [OR] = 8.33; 95% CI, 1.62–42.91).

Ultimately, the authors presented the risk factors for progression to SLE in pediatric patients with ITP identified by their statistical analysis. The authors advised a “minimum 3-year of close follow-up for pediatric ITP patients … to monitor the risk for developing SLE.”