Haematological parameters in systemic lupus erythematosus patients at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi
Background: Haematological abnormalities are the most common manifestations of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Anaemia of Chronic Disease (ACD) has been associated with significantly higher disease activity. Thrombocytopenia early in the course of disease is indicative of more severe active disease and if severe it is an independent predictor of damage accrual and mortality. Leucopenia usually reflects disease activity.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of haematological abnormalities, among SLE patients on follow up at Rheumatology and Renal Outpatient clinics at Kenyatta National Hospital. Specifically, the study aimed to describe the prevalence of anaemia, leucopenia, and thrombocytopenia and identify patient factors associated with these abnormalities.
Design: Cross-sectional hospital based descriptive study.
Setting: Rheumatology out-patient clinic and Renal out-patient clinic at KNH.
Subjects: Sixty five patients who fulfilled the 1997 American College of Rheumatology Classification Criteria for SLE.
Results: Sixty five eligible SLE patients were recruited into the study. The mean (SD) age was 36.5 (± 12) years. There were 3 (5%) males and 62 (95%) females. Forty nine (75%) patients had at least one abnormality. The abnormalities involved all the three cell lines. The prevalence of abnormalities were; anaemia 43%, leucopenia 26% and thrombocytopenia 20%.
Conclusion: Haematological abnormalities were the second most common manifestation of the disease after arthritis and arthralgia among SLE patients on follow up at Kenyatta National Hospital Rheumatology and Renal clinic. Though majority of these abnormalities were mild to moderate and clinically asymptomatic, the proportions of anaemia, leucopenia and thrombocytopenia were substantially high.
Keywords: Haematological parameters, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Kenyatta National Hospital