Echocardiographic Evidence of Cardiac Involvement in Ankylosing Spondylitis
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- Yildirir, A., Aksoyek, S., Calguneri, M. et al. Clin Rheumatol (2002) 21: 129. doi:10.1007/s10067-002-8271-x
Aortic insufficiency, myocardial fibrosis and conduction disturbances are known complications of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). However, few studies have assessed left ventricular diastolic function and no data are available about P-wave analysis. In this study 88 AS patients and 31 healthy volunteers underwent clinical examination, electrocardiography, echocardiography and signal-averaged P-wave analysis for the evaluation of asymptomatic cardiac involvement. The aortic root in AS patients was larger and this was correlated with the duration of the disease. Five of 88 AS patients (5.7%) had evidence of mitral valve prolapse, six (6.8%) had thick and redundant mitral valves without prolapse, five (5.7%) had mild mitral regurgitation, two had moderate (2.3%) and two had mild (2.3%) aortic regurgitation. Examination of diastolic function revealed a lower peak of E-wave velocity (E) and E/A ratio, a higher peak of A-wave velocity (A) and acceleration rate of the A wave, a longer deceleration time of E-wave velocity and isovolumic relaxation time in the AS group compared to controls. Mean filtered P-wave duration (PWD) in AS was similar to that of controls. However, PWD in AS patients was positively correlated with left atrial dimension and acceleration rate of the A wave and negatively correlated with E and E/A ratio. In conclusion, cardiac involvement may be seen in AS patients in the absence of clinical manifestations. Echocardiographic examination of diastolic function can be used in this asymptomatic period. Further studies are needed to clarify the prognostic significance of diastolic abnormalities and the value of P-wave analysis in cardiac evaluation of these patients.