Objective: Due to the inconsistent results of current studies on the association between urinary and
blood vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) disease activity, we
conducted this study and analyzed its influencing factors.
Methods: A literature search was conducted in PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library. Data
were extracted from eligible studies to calculate standardized mean differences (SMD) with 95% confidence
intervals (CI). Cochrane Q test and I2 statistics were used to examine heterogeneity. The sources of heterogeneity
were assessed through sensitivity analysis and subgroup analysis. Publication bias was evaluated by funnel plots
and Egger's test.
Results: A total of 15 studies met the inclusion criteria, including 473 active SLE patients and 674 inactive SLE
patients. The random effects model was used for data analysis. In both urine and blood samples, VCAM- 1 level
in active SLE patients was significantly higher than those in inactive SLE patients (urine: SMD: 0.769; 95% CI:
0.260-1.278; blood: SMD=0.655, 95% CI: 0.084-1.226). No publication bias was found in this study.
Conclusion: Compared with inactive SLE patients, patients with active SLE have higher levels of VCAM-1 in
both urine and blood. VCAM-1 may be a potential indicator of SLE disease activity.