Article abstract


Cardiac manifestations develop in the majority of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at some time during the course of their disease. This study was designed to assess cardiac abnormalities in patients with SLE by echocardiography and to compare the 2 groups of patients with and without cardiac manifestations. It was a transversal, descriptive study, conducted in the Internal Medicine Department at the Military Hospital of Tunis from January 2016 to June 2018. Eighty lupus patients, diagnosed on the basis of ACR (American college of rheumatology) criteria, were enrolled in the study and were evaluated by standard echocardiography with color Doppler. Out of 80 patients 42 (52%) had abnormal echocardiographic findings. Pericardial effusion was found in 55%, valvular abnormalities in 52% and 38% had pulmonary hypertension. Patients with pleural effusion (45 vs 15%) were more vulnerable to cardiac involvement as well as renal impairment (57 vs 44%). The difference, however, were not statistically significant (p>0.05) in the renal involvement. Active disease with low complement (80%) was associated with higher frequency of cardiac involvement than disease in remission (64%) but the result was not statistically significant (p=0.11). Cardiac abnormalities are very common in lupus patients even when clinically asymptomatic form. Echocardiography is an excellent non-invasive tool for cardiac evaluation. Their research must be systematic with echocardiography in order to reduce subsequent cardiac morbidity and mortality among the lupus patients.