We conducted an echocardiographic study to determine the incidence and spectrum of morphologic and functional cardiac abnormalities in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to relate these findings to the disease activity and duration, and the presence of antiphospholipid (APL) antibodies. Thirty consecutive patients with LES (5 male and 25 female, mean age 37 +/- 11 years) were studied with a clinical cardiovascular examination and M-mode, 2-D Doppler echocardiogram. All patients fulfilled the American Rheumatism Association criteria for diagnosis of SLE. Disease activity was scored using the "Lupus Activity Criteria Count". The duration of the disease was less than 1 year in 5 patients (16.7%), between 1 and 5 years in 7 (23.3%), and superior to 5 years in 18 (60%). No patient had a history of rheumatic fever or infective endocarditis. All patients had received steroid therapy. In 26.7% of patients the disease was active, and in 33.3% APL antibodies were present. Patients were matched by number, age and sex with the control group. In 73.3% of the patients the echocardiogram resulted abnormal; valvular disease occurred in 30% and the echocardiographic features were of diffuse thickening, with 4 mitral and 2 aortic regurgitations. No valvular dysfunctions were significant, nor was Libman-Sacks endocarditis present. Pericardial disease, effusion or thickening was detected in 33.3% of the echocardiograms. Furthermore, there was one patient with left ventricular mild hypertrophy; 2 with a mild enlargement of the left ventricle with no segmental abnormalities of wall motion and no systolic disfunction; 8 patients (26.7%) were normal. Compared with the control group, patients with SLE had an increased prevalence of echocardiographic abnormalities, especially pericardial (p <0.001) and valvular (p <0.01). No association was found between activity, duration of the disease and prevalence of cardiac abnormalities. On the contrary, an association between the presence of APL antibodies and cardiac abnormalities at the echocardiographic examination was evident (p <0.05).
|Translated title of the contribution||Cardiac anomalies in systemic lupus erythematosus: their prevalence and relation to duration, disease activity and the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine