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Journal of Investigative Medicine:
doi: 10.231/JIM.0b013e3182746a83
Original Articles

Echocardiographic Evaluation of Asymptomatic Patients Affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vizzardi, Enrico MD*; Cavazzana, Ilaria MD; Bazzani, Chiara MD; Pezzali, Natalia MD*; Ceribelli, Angela MD; Bonadei, Ivano MD*; Franceschini, Franco MD; D’Aloia, Antonio MD*; Metra, Marco MD*; Tincani, Angela MD; Cas, Livio Dei MD*

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Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with increased mortality and morbidity because of accelerated atherosclerosis. The study assessed the prevalence of left and right ventricle diastolic and systolic dysfunction in outpatients with RA.

Methods: The study included 93 outpatients with RA. In all patients and control group, echocardiographic conventional and tissue Doppler (TDI) studies were conducted.

Results: In the group of RA patients, we found high prevalence of left ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction and right diastolic dysfunction compared with controls (13.5% vs 5.5 %, 76.3% vs 48.8% and 41.9% vs 6.6%, respectively; P < 0.001).

Rheumatoid arthritis patients and controls showed significant differences about mitral, tricuspid, and pulmonary flow velocity curves; tissue Doppler curves of the lateral and the septal myocardial walls of the left ventricle; and basal myocardial free wall of the right ventricle. There were not any correlations between inflammatory and functional disease parameters and variables of systolic and diastolic function.

Conclusions: Our study shows a high prevalence of left ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction in a population of outpatients affected by rheumatoid arthritis.

© 2012 American Federation for Medical Research


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