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Int J Rheum Dis. 2015 Jun;18(5):524-32. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.12262. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

High levels of uric acid in systemic lupus erythematosus is associated with pulmonary hypertension.

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Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.



To estimate the point prevalence of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and determine the associated factors for PH in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).


A prospective cross-sectional study of 114 patients with SLE was conducted in a single tertiary center. Transthoracic echocardiography was performed to estimate the pulmonary arterial pressures. PH was defined as resting systolic pulmonary artery pressure (sPAP) ≥ 40 mmHg, in the absence of left heart disease.


PH was identified in nine patients (7.9%) who had few cardiopulmonary symptoms. SLE patients with PH had higher SLE disease activity index score. In particular, serum uric acid (UA) was significantly higher in patients with PH than in those without PH. In multivariate analysis, UA remained significant for the presence of PH. Moreover, serum UA level correlated significantly with plasma NT-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide level as well as sPAP. At the cutoff level of 6.5 mg/dL, serum UA had reasonable accuracy for predicting the presence of PH in SLE patients (sensitivity 66.7% and specificity 96.2%).


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


lupus; pulmonary hypertension; uric acid

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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