Prognostic factors for survival in systemic lupus erythematosus associated pulmonary hypertension

Objective: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare but severe manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that can ultimately result in death. The identification of factors that prognosticate survival in SLE-PH is necessary for appropriate monitoring, timing of therapeutics and lung transplantation. The primary objective of this study was to identify prognostic factors for survival in SLE-PH through review of the literature. The methodological quality of the prognostic studies was also evaluated. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed to identify studies evaluating prognostic factors for survival in SLE-PH. Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials (inception – week 2 2010) were searched. A standardized abstraction form was used by two independent reviewers to extract prognostic factors. Methodological quality was evaluated using a validated quality index. Results: Twenty-three observational studies from 375 citations were evaluated. Elevated mean pulmonary artery pressure, Raynaud’s phenomenon, thrombocytopenia, plexiform lesion, infection, thrombosis, pregnancy, pulmonary vasculitis and anticardiolipin antibodies were associated with decreased survival. Lupus disease activity, nephritis and central nervous system disease were not associated with survival. The sample sizes were small and methodological quality of the studies was variable. Conclusion: This study summarizes factors that may be associated with decreased survival in SLE-PH. The small sample sizes and variable methodological quality preclude definitive conclusions. This study provides the groundwork for further research using large cohorts.


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