Author(s): Silva CA, Deen ME, Febrnio MV, Oliveira SK, Terreri MT,
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Abstract To identify the underlying mechanism of amenorrhea in juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) patients, thirty-five (11.7\%) JSLE patients with current or previous amenorrhea were consecutively selected among the 298 post-menarche patients followed in 12 Brazilian pediatric rheumatology centers. Pituitary gonadotrophins [follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH)] and estradiol were evaluated in 32/35 patients, and prolactin and total testosterone in 29/35 patients. Patient's medical records were carefully reviewed according to demographic, clinical and therapeutic findings. The mean duration of amenorrhea was 7.2 ± 3.6 months. Low FSH or LH was observed in 7/32 (22\%) JSLE patients and normal FSH or LH in 25 (78\%). Remarkably, low levels of FSH or LH were associated with higher frequency of current amenorrhea (57\% vs. 0\%, P = 0.001), higher median disease activity (SLEDAI) and damage (SLICC/ACR-DI) (18 vs. 4, P = 0.011; 2 vs. 0, P = 0.037, respectively) and higher median current dose of prednisone (60 vs. 10 mg/day, P = 0.0001) compared to normal FSH or LH JSLE patients. None of them had decreased ovarian reserve and premature ovarian failure. Six of 29 (21\%) patients had high levels of prolactin, and none had current amenorrhea. No correlations were observed between levels of prolactin and SLEDAI, and levels of prolactin and SLICC/ACR-DI scores (Spearman's coefficient). We have identified that amenorrhea in JSLE is associated with high dose of corticosteroids indicated for active disease due to hypothalamic-pituitary-ovary axis suppression.
This article was published in Rheumatol Int
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology