The Relationship between Lupus & Heart Disease

Often called a mysterious illness, lupus is an autoimmune disorder that can affect any part of your body, including the skin, blood, brain, lungs, and kidneys. While the disease is rather widespread, the causes still remain unknown, and strangely, no two cases are alike. Yet, most people inflicted with lupus do not even seem sick. 90% of the people living with lupus are female. The disease is frequently found in women of Asian, Hispanic, or African descent more than in Caucasian women.

Lupus can attack arteries, blood vessels, tissues, and organs, which lead to their inflammation. Patients who have lupus must know that they are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, strokes, and heart attacks. For some, these cardiac symptoms may go unrecognized, especially if they are unaware of them. Most of the time, the patients overlook heart disease symptoms and attribute it to their inflammation since the disease limits their ability to exercise and stay fit.

Cardiac Symptoms

Patients with lupus can experience traditional risk factors such as:

  • High blood pressure or hypertension primarily due to steroid use or kidney disease
  • Diabetes also due to steroid use
  • High cholesterol levels steroids inducing plaque that narrow the arteries
  • Joint and muscle pain as a result of physical inactivity and excess weight

Generic symptoms noticed:

  • Feeling tired & weak
  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of breath

Other lupus-specific risk factors may also be evident depending upon the dosage of the steroid, degree of inflammation, and the length of time that the person has had lupus.

Heart Disease

One of the most significant complications of lupus is heart disease, which is also a leading cause of death among people who have lupus. To determine if you have a heart condition on account of lupus, blood tests, chest X-rays, electrocardiogram, or an echocardiogram, may be required.


The myocardium or muscle tissue of the heart is inflamed due to lupus. Unexplained irregular heartbeats and chest pain are some of the symptoms of myocarditis. However, even fungal, bacterial, and viral infections are caused due to the disease. Particularly for patients on immunosuppressants, lupus comes with an additional risk of myocarditis.


When there is inflammation of the pericardium or the sac surrounding your heart, it is known as pericarditis. The patient experiences a sharp pain in the chest along with shortness of breath. The condition does not directly involve the heart tissue and therefore is not a contributing factor to the heart’s ability to function. Long-lasting or chronic inflammation, however, can interfere with the heart’s ability to pump blood while, additionally, scarring the heart tissue. If your heart does not have the strength to pump enough blood to the different tissues and organs, heart failure may occur. Although severe heart muscle disease may not be commonly caused due to lupus.

Coronary Artery Disease

Fatty molecules and other materials attach themselves to the walls of the coronary arteries that are responsible for moving blood to and from the heart. Over time, plaque is formed, and the blood vessels become narrower, restricting blood flow. Angina develops are a result of decreased flow of blood that eventually may lead to a heart attack. Lupus increases the risk for CAD or Coronary Artery Disease. People with lupus are more likely to develop atherosclerosis, which is also one of the leading causes of heart disease.


Inflammation of the endocardium or the tissue that lines the inner walls and valves of the heart and enables separate chambers, is known as endocarditis. The surfaces of the heart valve develop lesions or wart-like growths and thicken as a result of lupus endocarditis. Bacterial endocarditis evolves when the lesions become infected. At times, a blood clot is formed, when a lesion breaks off and travels to the brain leading to potentially dangerous results.

Circulatory System

Capillary inflammation can cause breakage of the blood vessel, resulting in internal tissue bleeding. A small, purple or red dot may appear indicating inflammation, which can also be dangerous when it finds its way to the brain. The blood vessel walls are inflamed leading to vasculitis. Lupus-induced vasculitis varies depending upon the tissues that are involved.

Reach out to experts at SIMS Hospitals, Nungambakkam, for treatment of all cardiological & vascular diseases.


Glaucoma – The Silent Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is an ailment that affects the eyes. It is one of the leading cause of blindness in the world with 65 million people suffering from this condition. It is also the second major cause of blindness, first one being cataract. The prevalence of Glaucoma is highest in African nations followed by Asia. It is a matter of grave concern that of all the people suffering from Glaucoma, 5% eventually lose their sight. Even with appropriate treatment 10% people still experience significant loss in sight.

What is Glaucoma ?
Glaucoma is a condition of optic nerve damage. Optic nerve is the channel through which the images captured through our eyes are transmitted to the vision centre of our brain. When this nerve deteriorates slowly over a period of time, we gradually lose our sense of sight.

Our eye contains a clear fluid, called aqueous humour, that keeps the eye healthy by nourishing various internal parts like cornea and the lens. This fluid periodically get drained through the drainage system of the eye to maintain the pressure inside the eye cavity. In Glaucoma, pressure inside the eye cavity increases due to fluid build up, usually in the front part. This progressively strains the optic nerve and causes irreversible damage to it. Surprisingly a person loses as much as 40% of vision without even realizing it.

What are the types of Glaucoma ?
There are two major types of Glaucoma, as described below.

  • Primary Open-angle Glaucoma: It is most the common type that is caused due to inadequate drainage of the fluid inside the eye. It is usually painless and detected quite late. So early examination can help detect early signs of optic nerve damage.
  • Primary angle-closure Glaucoma: When the drainage angle is narrow or blocked in eye pressure builds up. This type of Glaucoma may present with an “acute attack”, which is a medical emergency. Many people with angle closure develop slowly. So, if not detected and treated early, can lead to blindness.

What are the risk factor for development of Glaucoma ?
Though Glaucoma can develop in any person, there are certain risk factors associated with this condition.

  • Family history of Glaucoma
  • Age more than 40 years
  • Medical conditions that builds high eye pressure
  • Diabetes, Hypertension
  • Chronic steroid use

What are the symptoms of Glaucoma ?
Most people do not realize any issue in vision until the damage is quite severe. The process of optic nerve damage is irreversible and that’s why Glaucoma is called the “Silent Thief of Sight”.
Only regular eye examination can detect the condition. Sometimes acute angle closure Glaucoma can present with severe headache, blurring of vision, severe pain and redness of eyes.

How can Glaucoma be prevented?
As stated earlier, it is not a preventable condition; buyt, it can be controlled. Regular eye check-up is the best course of action to control Glaucoma. The diagnosis tests generally include:

  • Eye pressure check
  • Visualization of drainage angle
  • Examination of optic nerve
  • Visual field evaluation
  • Photograph of optic nerve
  • Measurement of thickness of Cornea

How is Glaucoma treated / controlled ?

  • Medical treatment like eye drop
  • Surgical treatment if not controlled with drops
  • Laser treatment

Rotary Club Honours Dr Sumana Premkumar

SIMS, Hospital, Chennai feels proud to communicate that one of it’s senior medical faculty has been honoured with “Lifetime Achievement Award”.
In a momentous event, the Rotary Club of Chennai Galaxy honoured Dr. Sumana Premkumar, Senior Consultant – Radiation Oncology at SIMS Hospital, with a lifetime achievement award for her tireless service to the mankind in treating Cancer. In her illustrious Career she has made immense contribution to the field of Oncology, which has improved the treatment of Cancer and given many people new lease of life and hope of a healthy future.



The Indian Society of Peripheral Nerve Surgery (ISPNS) conducted its 8th National Conference in Chennai from 8th – 10th February 2019. The three-day long conference included a full-day live workshop along with other 2-days of scholastic lecturers by eminent surgeons from across the World.

The Live workshop on 8th February 2019 was inaugurated by Prof. S. Kalyanaraman, Former HOD, Department of Neurosurgery, Madras Medical College. The workshop sessions presented some of the cases of peripheral nerve surgery that generally possess high degree of challenge before the surgeons in terms of desired outcomes. The participants in the conference witnessed some of the finer surgical techniques that can be deployed to achieve astounding surgical outcomes in these kind of surgeries.

The commencement of the didactic and deliberation sessions followed on 9th & 10th February 2019 after a formal inauguration ceremony. Shri. Banwarilal Purohit, Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu, inaugurated the Conference and delivered an inspirational speech to the clinical fraternity. Shri. Ravi Pachamoothoo, Chairman – SRM Group & Chancellor, SRM University, NCR Delhi, was the Special Guest for the event, who is also the Chief Patron for ISPNSCON’2019. Dr. K. Sridhar, Director of Institute of Craniofacial, Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery at SIMS Hospital, who also currently holds the post of National President of ISPNS, has been the guiding force behind this international academic event. Dr. R. Krishnamoorthy, Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon and Dr. K. R. Suresh Bapu, Neurosurgeon at SIMS Hospital have meticulously planned and steered the event as the Organizing Chairman and Co-Chairman respectively, along with their team.

The conference was aimed to bring together the highly skilled neurosurgeons under one roof, enabling free exchange of knowledge and experience. More than 150 delegates from all over the country participated in the conference along with many eminent faculties. There were about forty lectures delivered on recent advances in the field of peripheral nerve surgeries. Renowned Brachial Plexus Surgeon Dr. Kazuteru Doi from Japan and Dr. Rajiv Midha from Canada were among the international faculties to share their experiences.


SIMS Hospital Recognized at Mayan Awards

Another of Streak of Achievement

It is yet again a moment of great honour and sense of humility for SIMS Hospital, Chennai to have been recognised among the best in the field of healthcare. And there is also a sense of pride to have some of the elite doctors in our clinical fraternity, who were also recognized for their contributions in their respective speciality of medicine.

In the recently concluded 6th Edition of MAYAN AWARD ceremony held at Hotel Accord, Puducherry on 19th January 2019, SIMS Hospitals and its esteemed doctors were awarded and felicitated in the presence of Dr Kiran Bedi, IPS (retd.) – Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Puducherry. The event was also graced by the Chairman of SRM Group, Shri Ravi Pachamoothoo.

In the individual category of contribution to the field of medicine Dr Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, Director and Senior Consultant – Institute of Oncology and Dr S Mahendran, Head of Critical Care Unit, at SIMS Hospital, were awarded for the outstanding and zealous work in their respective fields of specialisation.

In the medical speciality category, The Institute of Orthopaedics at SIMS Hospital, was awarded as the best centre in Tamil Nadu for the treatment of Bone & Joint related conditions. Having launched Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery for the first time in the state, the centre is not only a premier institution but a pioneering one to lead the field in this part of the country.

SIMS Hospitals conveys its utmost regards and congratulates Dr Ranjan, Dr Mahendran, Dr P Suryanarayan, Dr Vijay C Bose and team for their far reaching efforts and the recognition they have received for it; and also wish the team many more accolades in the future.

Dr Kiran Bedi was the Chief Guest for the function and made the presentations.  A number of distinguished members from various walks of life and also the past awardees participated in the event.

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