Background: The aim of this study was to investigate autonomic nervous system (ANS) function by using electrophysiological tests in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Materials and Methods: This descriptive analytical study was done on 28 individuals with a history of lupus and ten age- and sex-matched healthy objects were being selected randomly. The autonomy questionnaire has been used to determine clinical symptom of ANS involvement. The electrophysiological assessments of ANS function were performed by sympathetic skin response (SSR). The mean values of sympathetic (SSR latency and amplitude) parameters were compared to determine any correlations between SSR parameters and clinical characteristics of ANS.
Results: 28 SLE patients (3 males, 25 females) with a mean age of 34.6 ± 9.74 years and 10 control subjects (4 males, 6 females) with a mean age of 36.8 ± 6.43 years were included in the study. Among patients 17 (60.7%) exhibited autonomic symptoms. Headache was the most common issue with the highest percentage rate (41.17%). The mean latency and amplitude of SSR were increased (1.52 ± 0.16 vs. 1.39 ± 0.16 and 107 ± 15.6 vs. 110 ± 15.6, respectively), compared to control. A significant difference was observed between the SSR test results of patients with lupus compared to normal healthy objects (P < 0.05). R = 0.43 correlation was found between autonomy questionnaire scores and SSR (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: It could be concluded that latency measures in SSR test can be used as a valuable and accurate evaluation guideline for autonomic system assessment.