Systemic lupus erythematosus and pulmonary hypertension during pregnancy: report of a case fatality

Can J Cardiol. 1996 Aug;12(8):753-6.


The case of a 25-year-old pregnant woman with systemic lupus erythematosus and severe pulmonary hypertension is presented. The pregnancy was complicated by worsening right heart failure and pre-eclampsia, requiring a caesarian section at 29 weeks' gestation. On the fourth day postpartum, the patient's respiratory status worsened and she was transferred to the coronary care unit where she soon died from combined right heart failure and respiratory arrest. The presumed pathogenesis and etiology of lupus-related pulmonary hypertension are discussed, in addition to noninvasive tests and proposed management. Given that the mortality rate is very high during pregnancy and therapy is of limited value, women with lupus-associated pulmonary hypertension should avoid conceiving. Those who choose to become pregnant must be carefully managed by a multidisciplinary team.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / complications
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular*