Aortic aneurysm in systemic lupus erythematosus
Wen-Liang Chang, Chun-Mei Huang, Yao-Hsu Yang, Yu-Tsan Lin, Bor-Luen Chiang
Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
Received: June 30, 2003 Revised: August 6, 2003 Accepted: August 28, 2003
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is frequently associated with cardiovascular manifestations, but rarely complicated with aortic disease. We report a 28-year-old female patient with a 14-year history of SLE and a 3-year history of hypertension. She had suffered from palpitation and chest tightness for 1 month before admission. Heart echo showed thoracic to low abdominal level with low flow. A computed tomography (CT) scan confirmed aneurysms of the descending thoracic and upper abdominal aorta, down to the renal level. Diagnosis of aortic aneurysm should be considered in patients with SLE, especially those who have a history of hypertension, prolonged steroid use, palpitation and chest pain. Current imaging modalities, such as cardiac echo, CT and magnetic resonance angiography may provide earlier detection of subclinical disease, which may aid in preventing these fatal complications. It is important to control hypertension aggressively in patients with SLE. In addition to decreasing steroid doses, early use of immunosuppressive agents and accurate noninvasive image modalities may allow us to prevent severe damage to the aorta and avoid the fatal complications.
Aortic aneurysm, magnetic resonance angiography, systemic lupus erythematosus, X-ray computed Tomography
J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2004;37:310-312.