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Cardiac Manifestations of Systemic Lupus Erythematous: An Overview of the Incidence, Risk Factors, Diagnostic Criteria, Pathophysiology and Treatment Options


Cardiol Rev. 2020 Sep 24. doi: 10.1097/CRD.0000000000000358. Online ahead of print.

Nicole K Zagelbaum Ward 1, Carlos Linares-Koloffon 2, Alba Posligua 3, Liliya Gandrabur 3, Woo Young Kim 3, Kirk Sperber 3, Amy Wasserman 3, Julia Ash 3

Author Information

1 Department of Rheumatology, Keck School of Medicine/University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Ca.

2 Yale Center for Asthma and Airway Disease, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

3 Department of Medicine and Division of Rheumatology, Westchester Medical Center and New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex connective tissue disease that can potentially affect every organ of the human body. In some cases, SLE may present with diverse cardiac manifestations including pericarditis, myocarditis, valvular disease, atherosclerosis, thrombosis and arrhythmias. Heart disease in SLE is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. It is unclear whether traditional treatments for coronary artery disease significantly impact mortality in this population. Current therapeutic agents for SLE include glucocorticoids, hydroxychloroquine, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, methotrexate, cyclophosphamide and B cell-directed therapies. This article will provide a comprehensive review and update on this important disease state.