Patients with cardiac dysfunction may be at increased risk of cardiac toxicity when undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), which may preclude them from receiving this therapy. Cardiac dysfunction is, however, common in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. While autologous HSCT (auto-HSCT) has been performed increasingly for SLE, its impact on cardiac function has not previously been evaluated. We, therefore, performed a retrospective analysis of SLE patients who had undergone auto-HSCT in our center to determine the prevalence of significant cardiac involvement, and the impact of transplantation on this. The records of 55 patients were reviewed, of which 13 were found to have abnormal cardiac findings on pre-transplant two-dimensional echocardiography or multi-gated acquisition scan: impaired left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (n=6), pulmonary hypertension (n=5), mitral valve dysfunction (n=3) and large pericardial effusion (n=1). At a median follow-up of 24 months (8=105 months), there were no transplant-related or cardiac deaths. With transplant-induced disease remission, all patients with impaired LVEF remained stable or improved; while three with symptomatic mitral valve disease similarly improved. Elevated pulmonary pressures paralleled activity of underlying lupus. These data suggest that auto-HSCT is feasible in selected patients with lupus-related cardiac dysfunction, and with control of disease activity, may improve.
ASJC Scopus subject areas