Objective This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between circulating prolactin level and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and to establish a correlation between plasma/serum prolactin levels and SLE activity. Methods We performed a meta-analysis comparing the plasma/serum prolactin levels in patients with SLE to controls, and examined correlation coefficients between circulating prolactin level and SLE disease activity. Results Twenty-five studies with a total of 1056 SLE patients and 426 controls were included. Prolactin levels were significantly higher overall in the SLE group than in the control group (standardized mean difference (SMD) = 0.987, 95% CI = 0.512-1.463, p = 4.7 × 10â'5). Stratification by ethnicity showed significantly elevated prolactin levels in the SLE group in Asian, Latin American, and mixed populations (SMD = 0.813, 95% CI = 0.137-1.490, p = 0.018; SMD = 0.981, 95% CI = 0.307-1.655, p = 0.004; SMD = 1.469, 95% CI = 0.443-2.495, p = 0.005, respectively), but not in the European population. Subgroup analysis by sample size showed significantly higher prolactin levels in the SLE group by small (n < 30) and large sample numbers (n > 30). Meta-analysis of correlation coefficients showed a significantly positive correlation between circulating prolactin level and SLE activity (correlation coefficient = 0.379, 95% CI = 0.026-0.487, p = 4.0 × 10â'9). Circulating prolactin levels were positively associated with SLE activity in European, Asian, and mixed populations (SMD = 0.532, 95% CI = 0.443-0.609 p < 1.0 × 10â'8; SMD = 0.427, 95% CI = 0.240-0.583, p = 2.4 × 10â'5; SMD = 0.433, 95% CI = 0.212-0.591, p = 2.7 × 10â'5, respectively). Conclusions Our meta-analysis demonstrated that circulating prolactin levels are higher in patients with SLE, and that a significantly positive correlation exists between prolactin levels and SLE activity.
- systemic lupus erythematosus
ASJC Scopus subject areas