Lupus: RBC distribution width correlated with fatigue in young patients | EULAR

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  • While standard disease activity markers did not correlate with the burden of fatigue in young patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), there was a correlation between increased red blood cell distribution width (RDW) and increased fatigue.  This is the first time such a correlation has been reported.

Why this matters

  • The findings suggest that iron deficiency may play a significant role in the onset of fatigue, which is a common and disabling symptom in SLE.
  • The authors say that plans are underway for a trial of therapeutic iron infusion for SLE-related fatigue. 

Study design

  • Thirty-seven adolescent and young adult patients with SLE completed the Functional Assessment of Chronic Fatigue Illness Therapy (FACIT) Fatigue Scale.
  • Standard disease activity measures were also recorded, including erythrocyte sedimentation ...