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About 8 Percent of SLE Patients Have Pulmonary HTN

Patients have few cardiopulmonary symptoms; serum uric acid can predict presence of PH

MONDAY, June 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) — About 8 percent of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have pulmonary hypertension (PH), and serum uric acid (UA) has reasonable accuracy for predicting PH, according to a study published in the June issue of the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Ki-Jo Kim, M.D., from the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, and colleagues conducted a prospective cross-sectional study of 114 patients with SLE to examine the point prevalence of PH and associated risk factors. Pulmonary arterial pressures were estimated with transthoracic echocardiography.

The researchers identified PH in 7.9 percent of patients who had few cardiopulmonary symptoms. SLE disease activity score was higher in patients with PH. Serum UA was significantly higher in patients with versus those without PH. UA remained significant for the presence of PH in multivariate analysis. There was a correlation for serum UA with plasma N-terminal-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide level and systolic pulmonary artery pressure. Serum UA had reasonable accuracy for predicting the presence of PH at the cutoff level of 6.5 mg/dL (sensitivity of 66.7 percent and specificity of 96.2 percent).

“A significant number of SLE patients in rheumatology practice have undiagnosed PH with few discernible symptoms,” the authors write. “Serum UA level may be useful as a surrogate marker for screening of PH in patients with SLE.”

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