Valvular heart disease is the most important cardiacmanifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We performed a study to determine the relation of valvular disease to other clinical features of lupus, the type and the incidence of valvular heart disease in SLE patients.
We performed transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and rheumatologic evaluations in 56 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. The echocardiographic findings were compared with those in 40 healthy volunteers.
Abnormal valvular Echocardiographic findings were multiple valvular abnormalities found in 21 patients (37.5%), were distributed in three groups according of valvular involvement: (Group1) included patients with anatomical and functional valvular involvement (AFVI) in seven patients (12.5%). (Group2) included patients with anatomical valvular involvement without Doppler detected valve dysfunction (AVI) in 11 patients (19.6%). (Group3) included patients with functional abnormalities (stenosis or regurgitation) without valvular thickening (FVI) in three patients (5.3%). Positive antiphospholipids antibody (aPLs) was found in a total of 29 patients (51.7%), of those 17 patients (58.6%) had valvular echocardiographic abnormalities and four patients (14.8%) of the 27 patients with negative aPLs had abnormal echocardiographic findings.
Valvular heart disease is common in patients with SLE, valvular abnormalities were correlated with the aPLs in patients with SLE. Echocardiography is an excellent tool for the diagnosis and follows up of valvular abnormalities in patients with SLE.