, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 294-299
Date: 13 Oct 2005

Diastolic function abnormalities in active rheumatoid arthritis evaluation by conventional Doppler and tissue Doppler: relation with duration of disease

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The aim of this study was to evaluate left ventricular diastolic function in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA), analyzing conventional Doppler and tissue Doppler echocardiographic imaging (TDI) which is a new echocardiographic application, with special regard to disease duration.


Fifty-two patients with active RA and 47 healthy persons were included in this study. Duration of disease ranged from 3 to 324 months (mean 76±85 months). All patients and the control group were evaluated by M-mod, two-dimensional, conventional Doppler echocardiography and TDI.


Among conventional Doppler transvalvular mitral flow parameters, late diastolic flow velocity (A) and deceleration time (DT) values were higher in patients with RA than that in the control group (p<0.001). E (early diastolic flow velocity)/A ratio was found to be lower in patients with RA than that in the control group (p<0.001). Mitral annular early diastolic velocity (E m), among TDI parameters, was found to be lower in patients with RA than that in the control group (p<0.001). E m/A m (mitral annular late diastolic velocity) ratio was found to be lower in RA patients compared with that in the control group (p<0.001). The relation was found between A (r=0.43, p=0.001), DT (r=0.30, p=0.03), E/A ratio (r=0.40, p=0.004), E m (r=0.32, p=0.02), E m/A m ratio (r=0.30, p=0.03), and E/E m (r=0.32, p=0.02), with disease duration in patients with RA.


At present, it is concluded that active RA patients, in the absence of clinical evidence of heart disease, show diastolic dysfunction characterized by impaired E/A ratio, E m/A m ratio, and DT. The relation between diastolic dysfunction and disease duration suggests a subclinical myocardial involvement.

This study has been accepted as a poster presentation at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology “EULAR 2004” (Berlin, Germany, 9–12 June 2004