The prognostic nutritional index (PNI), which is calculated using serum albumin level and total lymphocyte count in the peripheral blood, is regarded as an index that reflects the immunonutritional status of patients. PNI was calculated in 217 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients according to the following formula: 10 × serum albumin value (g/dL) + 0.005 × peripheral lymphocyte count (/mm3). Pearson’s correlation analysis was used to elucidate the correlation between continuous variables. Linear and logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the correlation between laboratory variables and SLE Disease Activity Index-2000 (SLEDAI-2 K) and to differentiate between active and inactive SLE. Ninety-three patients were classified as active SLE (SLEDAI-2 K ≥ 5) and 124 as inactive SLE. Patients with active SLE exhibited lower median PNI than those with inactive SLE (39.0 vs. 49.1, p < 0.001). Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed PNI as an independent predictor of active SLE. Multivariable linear regression analysis revealed that PNI was significantly correlated with laboratory variables of SLEDAI-2 K, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein and SLEDAI-2 K. Furthermore, in patients who switched from active to inactive SLE after treatment (n = 55), PNI increased as disease activity improved (p < 0.001), which suggests that PNI may be useful for estimating SLE activity.
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