Vol 20, No 6 (2013)
Review Article
Published online: 2013-12-11

open access

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Autoimmune diseases, their pharmacological treatment and the cardiovascular system

Marta Jastrzębska, Michael E. Czok, Przemysław Guzik
DOI: 10.5603/CJ.2013.0156
Cardiol J 2013;20(6):569-576.


Cardiovascular system involvement is a frequent complication of autoimmune diseases (AD) such as systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropaties or psoriatic arthritis. The most common forms of such involvement are pericarditis, myocarditis, accelerated atherosclerosis resulting in myocardial infarction or stroke, arrhythmias, conduction abnormalities or congestive heart failure. Some of these manifestations may be dramatic in their course and ultimately fatal. The treatment of AD may further affect the cardiovascular system and result in a lower quality of life, higher mortality and increased cost of healthcare. The aim of this review is to discuss possible cardiac complications of various AD and the related treatment of these diseases.