A case of scleroderma renal crisis with massive pericardial effusion and positivity on antiphospholipid antibody test

Haruo Ichikawa, Tetsuki Amano, Shinji Fukuda, Hideo Kataoka, Kenji Kawabata, Yoshio Nagake, Hirofumi Makino

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3 Citations (Scopus)


A 47-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital for evaluation of general fatigue and dyspnea. She had been diagnosed with progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS) when she was 39 years of age, on the basis of Raynaud's phenomenon, proximal sclerosis, and pigmentation of the skin. On admission, her blood pressure was 206/128 mmHg. Funduscopy revealed grade III (Keith & Wagener) hypertensive retinopathy. Laboratory data showed positivity for anti-nuclear antibody and anticardiolipin β2 glycoprotein I antibody, and the plasma level of renin activity (PRA) was abnormally high. Chest X-ray and UCG revealed massive pericardial effusion. On the second hospital day, she was operated on for pericardiodiaphragmatic fenestration. The volume of pericardial effusion amounted to more than 2000 ml. Post operative malignant hypertension persisted. Laboratory data showed thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, and acute renal failure. We diagnosed scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) associated with antiphospholipid syndrome. Following the initiation of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I) combined with calcium antagonist and alpha-one blocker, her blood pressure and PRA decreased. She also had been treated with aspirin 81 mg daily. These therapies were effective in recovering the platelet count and stopped the progression of anemia and renal failure. Although either the finding of large pericardial effusion or SRC is associated with poor prognosis in PSS, this case has had a good clinical course. In this case, the findings suggested that anti-phospholipid antibody may have contributed to the pericarditis and SRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Nephrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiphospholipid antibody
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Pericardiodiaphragmatic fenestration
  • Progressive systemic sclerosis
  • Scleroderma renal crisis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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