Objective: To document changes in pulmonary arterial systolic pressure (PASP) in patients with SLE who have received CYC for any indication.
Methods: Twenty-four patients with SLE pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) with a PASP of >30 mmHg by transthoracic echocardiography received i.v. CYC (n = 24) or steroids (n = 24) with or without vasodilators (n = 20). Baseline clinical characteristics and PASP were evaluated before and after therapy at 6 months. Responders were defined as those who had a decrease in PASP of >15 mmHg from baseline along with improvement in their New York Heart Association functional class.
Results: There were 11 responders (45.83%), with a decrease in mean PASP from 59.33 mmHg at baseline to 43.29 mmHg at the end of 6 months (P < 0.0001). The decrease in mean PASP from 39.75 mmHg at baseline to 34.4 mmHg at the end of 6 months was significant in four patients who received immunosuppression alone (P = 0.04). There was no difference in baseline PASP and disease activity between responders and non-responders. Two deaths were noted.
Conclusion: Immunosuppression and vasodilators produced significant improvement in SLE PAH over 6 months.
Keywords: SLE; immunosuppression; pulmonary hypertension; responders; transthoracic echocardiography; vasodilators.
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