Cardiac valvular disease in chronic inflammatory disorders of connective tissue. Factors influencing survival after surgery.
Three cases of cardiac valvular disease complicating chronic inflammatory disorders of connective tissue are described. Each underwent surgical valve replacement. The outcome in the first case, a patient with aortitis complicating Reiter's syndrome and in good health otherwise, has been excellent. The other two patients, one with rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis, the other with systemic lupus erythematosus and nephritis, died after operation as the result of their systemic disease. The importance of systemic features in assessing this type of patient is emphasized.