Atrioventricular heart block and syncope coincident with diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus

Can J Cardiol. 2013 Oct;29(10):1330.e5-1330.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2013.05.004. Epub 2013 Aug 2.


We describe a 59-year-old woman with cardiac conduction abnormalities caused by lupus-induced myocardial damage. She had a history of arthralgias and antinuclear antibodies but no clinical history of systemic lupus erythematosus. She presented with syncope and Mobitz type II second-degree atrioventricular block. Anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies developed coincident with the identification of heart block. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging showed late enhancing foci of gadolinium uptake that anatomically correlated with her conduction abnormalities. We conclude that her conduction disease represents an early and structural cardiac manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus that is unusual in its presentation at the time of initial diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis
  • Atrioventricular Block / diagnosis
  • Atrioventricular Block / etiology*
  • Atrioventricular Block / physiopathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Syncope / diagnosis
  • Syncope / etiology*
  • Syncope / physiopathology


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear