Nitric oxide (NO) plays a significant role in the inflammatory process and has been implicated in several autoimmune disorders. This study was carried out prospectively to estimate the levels of nitrite and citrulline in the serum and urine, as surrogate markers of NO production, among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Forty-seven patients and 44 age-and sex-matched, healthy volunteers were studied. Nitrite and citrulline were measured in serum and urine by spectrophotometry. Median serum nitrite and citrulline levels and urine citrulline levels were higher among patients as compared with controls (p < 0.05). Patients with skin involvement stood out and had higher median serum and urine citrulline levels (p < 0.05). Disease activity correlated with steroid dosage, serum nitrite levels, and serum and urine citrulline levels (p < 0.05). Steroid dosage correlated with serum citrulline level (p < 0.05). Serum and urine citrulline levels correlated with each other (p < 0.01). In the subset of 13 individuals with renal involvement, serum and urine citrulline levels correlated with each other (p < 0.01) as did urine nitrite and citrulline levels (p < 0.05). NO production is increased among patients with SLE, and this increase correlates with disease activity and dosage of steroids used. The addition of a urine test to measure NO production as a marker of disease activity using simple spectrophotometry can be a valuable adjunct to other tests, can obviate the need for drawing a blood sample for this purpose, and can be repeated as often as necessary.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Rheumatology|
|State||Published - Mar 6 2001|
- Nitric oxide
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
ASJC Scopus subject areas