Cardiologic abnormalities in patients with long-term lupus nephritis

G. Moroni, U. La Marchesina, G. Banfi, F. Nador, E. Vigano, M. Marconi, A. Lotto, C. Ponticelli

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To assess the cardiological status of patients with long-term lupus nephritis we evaluated 30 patients (mean age 43 ± 11 years) with lupus nephritis lasting from at least 10 years (mean 15 ± 5 years). At the time of cardiological evaluation the mean plasma creatinine was 132.6 ± 11.1 μmol/l and in 28 patients lupus had been quiescent for at least 3 years. Fourteen patients (46.6%) showed one or more cardiac abnormalities: 10 had valvular lesions (1 verrucous endocarditis, 9 thickening and stiffness of one or more valves) - 4 patients had regional myocardial akinesis as a consequence of a previous cardiac infarct (one had valvular abnormalities too). One patient had pulmonary hypertension probably secondary to pulmonary vasculitis. No patient had pericarditis. These cardiac abnormalities proved to be statistically correlated with the number of ARA criteria (p = 0.045), the number of lupus flares (p = 0.004), the serum levels of cholesterol (p = 0.04) and of triglycerides (p = 0.025) as well as the duration of hypercholesterolemia (p = 0.005) and of hypertriglyceridemia (p = 0.007). In conclusion, in patients with long-term lupus nephritis cardiac lesions are frequent. The main lesions are non-verrucous valvulopathy (probably a consequence of healing verrucous endocarditis) and cardiac infarct (caused by an accelerated atherosclerosis). On the contrary cardiac lesions caused by active lupus as pericarditis, myocarditis and verrucous endocarditis are rare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Cardiac abnormalities
  • Lupus nephritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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