Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We aim to estimate the putative predictors contributing to early identification of PAH, thus improve appropriate medical intervention and a better prognosis. A retrospective case-control study was conducted. Forty-one SLE patients with PAH and 106 SLE patients without PAH were enrolled. Demographic variables, clinical features, and laboratory data were compared between the two groups. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the predictors contributing to PAH in SLE. Serositis, Raynaud's phenomenon, high disease activity, anticardiolipin antibodies, and anti-U1RNP were significantly associated with SLE-PAH. Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that Raynaud's phenomenon, anticardiolipin antibodies, and anti-U1RNP were independent predictors of PAH in SLE. This study highlighted the clinical pattern of SLE-PAH patients, and underlined the leading predictors of PAH development among patients with SLE. Routine echocardiography is recommended in SLE patients with the independent predictors mentioned above.