Anemia is a frequent incident for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), its incidence being reported as 18–80%. Anemia of chronic disease (ACD) is the most common hematological syndrome in the evolutionary context of SLE. In anemia of the chronic disease, cytokines stimulate the production of hepcidin, an acute phase protein, which destroys ferroportin produced by hepatocytes. As a result, Fe (iron) is not able to come out from the erythrocytes and macrophages and is trapped within them. Anemias from chronic disease are usually hypoproliferative processes. This chapter reviews the correlation between systemic lupus erythematosus and anemia of chronic disease in general (but iron-deficiency anemia in particular). This text reviews different important methods of examination used to diagnose the pathological process of lupus as an immune disease and of the hematopoietic system some of these methods include (general blood analysis, Coombs test, serum iron, hematocrit etc.). Furthermore, it will discuss the physiopathological mechanism of anemic syndrome in systemic lupus erythematosus and the changes of the immune system. In conclusion, the relevance of anemia (independent of its cause) is estimated as being both a short-term activity of the disease and long-term prognostic factor for the evolution of SLE.
Part of the book: Current Topics in Anemia