Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 375, Issue 1, pp 71–82 | Cite as

Lupus érythémateux disséminé et insuffisance cardiaque

Etude histologique et ultrastructurale du myocarde
  • P. Walter
  • M. Weill-Bousson
  • J. M. Mossart
  • R. Voegtlin

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and congestive heart failure

Heart histological and ultrastructural study


Histological and ultrastructural studies were performed on myocardial biopsies and aortic and mitral valve leaflets obtained during an operation on a patient with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (S.L.E.). Congestive heart failure and valvular dysfunction appeared five years after the diagnosis of S.L.E. was made. On histological study, aortic and mitral valve leaflets are uniformly thickened by fibrous tissue with a nodular appearance. No active endocarditis was associated with the fibrous scarring. Atrial myocardium and papillary muscle countain a fibrous net-work discret in the former, extensive in the latter. The scattered foci of fibrosis in the papillary muscle surround vessels without obliteration or parietal necrosis. Ultrastructurally their lumina appeares narrowed by prominent endothelial cells with cytoplasmic aggregates of tubuloreticular structures (T.R.S.). These tubules are also present in some endocardial endothelial cells but are rare in the normal intrapapillary or atrial vessels that are not associated with a scar. Myocardial fibrous foci enclose atrophic and severely degenerated cardiac muscle cells; other cells situated at the periphery of the foci are normal in size or hypertrophic and moderately degenerated. The most altered muscle cells show an important loss of myofibrils, a proliferation of sarcoplasmic reticulum in myofibril free spaces, or necrosis with macrophagic resorption. Focal changes with loss of myofilaments, Z material streaming and concentric lamellar bodies are found in moderately degenerate cardiac muscle cells. The remaining papillary muscle cells and the atrial cells are all hypertrophied without degeneration.

These changes suggest that focal myocardial fibrosis and associated cardiac muscle cell degeneration may be responsible for impaired cardiac performance in some patients with S.L.E. According to the constant topographic relation between the narrowed vessels whose endothelial cells countain T.R.S. and the surrounding fibrous foci, we believe that the myocardial fibrous patches may correspond to scarring of microinfarcts related to active S.L.E. vascularitis.

Key words

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Congestive heart failure Cardiac muscle cell degeneration Tubuloreticular structures 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Walter
    • 1
  • M. Weill-Bousson
    • 1
  • J. M. Mossart
    • 2
  • R. Voegtlin
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculté de MédecineInstitut d'Anatomie PathologiqueStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Clinique Cardiologique (Medicale D)HÔpital CivilStrasbourgFrance

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