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288 Circulating prolactin level in systemic lupus erythematosus and its correlation with disease activity: a meta-analysis
  1. YH Lee1 and
  2. GG Song2
  1. 1Korea University Anam Hospital, Rheumatology, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  2. 2Korea University, Rheumatology, Seoul, Republic of Korea


Background and aims Prolactin has an immune stimulatory effect and may promote autoimmunity by encouraging the development of antigen presenting cells expressing MHC class II and co-stimulatory molecules and modulating IFN-γ secretion. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between circulating prolactin level and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and to establish a correlation between plasma/serum prolactin levels and SLE activity.

Methods We performed a meta-analysis comparing the plasma/serum prolactin levels in patients with SLE to controls, and examined correlation coefficients between circulating prolactin level and SLE disease activity.

Results Twenty-five studies with a total of 1056 SLE patients and 426 controls were included. Prolactin levels were significantly higher overall in the SLE group than in the control group (SMD=0.987, 95% CI=0.512–1.463, p=4.7x10-5). Stratification by ethnicity showed significantly elevated prolactin levels in the SLE group in Asian, Latin American, and mixed populations (SMD=0.813, 95% CI=0.137–1.490, p=0.018; SMD=0.981, 95% CI=0.307–1.655, p=0.004; SMD=1.469, 95% CI=0.443–2.495, p=0.005, respectively), but not in the European population. Meta-analysis of correlation coefficients showed a significantly positive correlation between circulating prolactin level and SLE activity (Correlation coefficient=0.379, 95% CI=0.026–0.487, p=4.0x10-9).

Conclusions Our meta-analysis demonstrated that circulating prolactin levels are higher in patients with SLE and that a significantly positive correlation exists between prolactin levels and SLE activity.

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