[Clinical course and prognosis in SLE patients with pulmonary hypertension: a comparative study with primary pulmonary hypertension]

S Fusegawa, T Mikami, M Hashimoto, Y Yamada, T Kobayashi, H Yasuda, A Sagawa, A Fujisaku
Kokyu to Junkan. Respiration & Circulation 1991, 39 (8): 819-23
Recently pulmonary hypertension (PH) has been recognized as one of life threatening complications which determine the prognosis of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Clinical aspects and pathology in patients with SLE complicated by PH (SLE-PH) have been reported to have a close similarity to those in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), the prognosis of which is very poor in general. However, the long-term prognosis for patients with SLE-PH is not clear yet. Mainly because of some technical limitations for determining the severity of the PH, long-term follow-up studies have been inconclusive. In this study, 7 patients with SLE-PH and 6 patients with PPH were studied by using two-dimensional echocardiography. The interventricular septal curvature (R) was measured from the parasternal short axis view and the reciprocal value (1/R) was applied as a severity index of the PH. In 4 patients with SLE-PH and 6 with PPH, pulmonary arterial pressure was measured by cardiac catheterization concomitantly. There were no significant differences in 1/R and pulmonary arterial pressure between the two groups when PH was diagnosed for the first time. In the PPH group, the mean period of follow-up study was 25.3 months and all of the patients died during that period. In SLE-PH group, the mean period of follow-up study was 50.6 months, and only 3 patients (43%) died during that period. No patients in the PPH group showed improvement in 1/R, but 3 patients with SLE-PH improved in 1/R during a long follow-up period (60, 96 and 103 months respectively). Thus, the prognosis for SLE-PH was better than that for PPH, and there were some differences in the course and worsening behavior of PH in SLE-PH compared with that in PPH during the long-term follow-up study with reference to the echocardiographic investigation using 1/R value.

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