Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a connective tissue disease characterized by the production of autoantibodies, can affect all organ systems. Cardiac involvement in patients with SLE has been described since the early 20th century. The manifestations are numerous and can involve all components of the heart, including the pericardium, conduction system, myocardium, valves, and coronary arteries. In recent years, echocardiography has yielded additional information about the heart in patients who have SLE with and without clinical cardiac involvement. Moreover, antiphospholipid antibodies have been linked to several cardiac manifestations in patients with SLE, including valvular abnormalities and possibly coronary artery disease. This updated, comprehensive review summarizes the new literature on SLE and the heart.
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