European Journal of Rheumatology
Case Report

Aneurysm of the ascending aorta in systemic lupus erythematosus: Case report and review of the literature


Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Eur J Rheumatol 2017; 4: 133-135
DOI: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2017.17066
Read: 2486 Downloads: 2019 Published: 03 September 2019


Cardiovascular manifestations in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are common, but aortic aneurysm formation is rare. We present a 63-year-old male SLE patient with a two-year history of skin lesions, leucopenia, pericarditis, mitral valve vegetations consistent with Liebman-Sacks endocarditis, and an aneurysm of the ascending aorta, which was successfully repaired surgically. Histologic examination of the aneurysm showed medial cystic degeneration, smooth muscle necrosis, and mild adventitial perivascular lymphocytic aggregates. This histology is typical of thoracic aneurysms that carry a high risk for aortic dissection and patient death. The case highlights the importance of early detection and treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms in patients with SLE. 

EISSN 2148-4279