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Bladder involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus

Author(s): Eric Roger Wroclawski | Antonio Marmo Lucon | Marcelo Langer Wroclawski | Carlos Alberto Bezerra | Natalino Hajime Yoshinari | Sami Arap

Journal: Einstein
ISSN 1679-4508

Volume: 7;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 445;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Lupus erythematosus | systemic | Urinary bladder | Urinary tract | Ultrasonography | Cystitis | interstitial

Objective: To study bladder involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus patients through clinical and laboratorial evaluation, ultrasonography, radiological and endoscopic examination. Methods: Thirty-nine patients, either outpatients or inpatients at the Department of Rheumatology of Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina from Universidade de São Paulo were evaluated as to clinical and laboratorial data. All patients were submitted to ultrasonographic evaluation of the upper urinary tract, radiological and endoscopic examinations of the middle and lower urinary tracts. Rresults: Mean age of patients varied between 13 and 62 years (median = 29 years). Thirty-six were females and three were males. The disease varied from 6 months to 22 years (median three years and one month). Clinical and laboratory activity of the disease was present in 30 patients. Twenty-two patients had the diagnosis of lupus established for three years or more. Twenty-five patients were asymptomatic and all had received corticosteroids for treatment at least once. Twenty-three received antimalarial drugs; ten received cytostatics, and seven patients received non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. Upper urinary tract ultrasonography was normal in all cases but one with staghorn calculus associated with neurogenic bladder secondary to neurological involvement by the disease. Vesicoureteral reflux was observed in two cases. Other two patients had significant post-voiding residual urine, both with neurogenic bladder secondary to nervous system involvement by lupus. The average bladder maximum capacity in an awaken patient was 342 mL, and was decreased in 18.9% of cases. This subgroup of patients presented a greater frequency of urinary symptoms and greater use of cytostatic drugs (Z > Z5%). A pathognomonic cystoscopic pattern of bladder involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus could not be established. Cystoscopic aspects similar to those seen in the initial or minor forms of interstitial cystitis were present in 43.2% of patients. This finding was more frequent when cytostatic drugs were used for treating the disease. Cconclusions: There was bladder involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus, even in asymptomatic patients, demonstrated by the occurrence of cystoscopic abnormalities or by reduced bladder maximum capacity associated with the presence of suprapubic pain, urinary irritation symptoms and the use of cytostatic drugs.

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