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Evaluation of left ventricular function by vector flow mapping in females with systemic lupus erythematosus



Compare the intraventricular hemodynamics of 60 females with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and 61 healthy female controls, and determine cardiac function changes using vector flow mapping (VFM).


To determine the effect of pulmonary artery pressure changes on left ventricular function, SLE patients were divided into a normal pulmonary artery pressure group (S1, n=24) and an elevated pulmonary artery pressure group (S2, n=36). The energy loss (EL) at each segment of the left ventricular chamber (total, basal, middle, and apical segments) during each period of the cardiac cycle (isovolumic contraction, rapid ejection, rapid filling, reduced filling, atrial contraction) was determined.


The S1 group had significantly more vortices than the control group during the rapid ejection, rapid filling, and atrial contraction periods (p<0.01), and the maximum vortex areas in the S1 and S2 groups were smaller than in the control group during rapid filling and atrial contraction periods (p<0.05). Compared with the control group, the S2 group had greater EL during the systole and diastole periods (p<0.01). EL in the S1 group was significantly greater than in the control group during systole (p<0.01). During the rapid filling period, the EL was positively correlated with septal E′ (r=0.784, p<0.01), and during the atrial contraction period, EL was positively correlated with septal E/e′ (r=0.812, p<0.01) and A (r=0.715, p<0.01).


VFM of patients with SLE can comprehensively, rapidly, and efficiently evaluate changes of myocardial mechanics and intracardiac hemodynamics and provide quantitative analysis of complex intracardiac blood flow.

Key points

• Vector flow mapping (VFM) is a new non-invasive ultrasound technique that evaluates changes of myocardial mechanics and intracardiac hemodynamics, and provides quantitative analysis of complex intracardiac blood flow.

• This study showed that vortex and energy loss may provide more sensitive detection of cardiac dysfunction than conventional echocardiographic indexes in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Data availability

The datasets generated and analyzed in the present study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.



the American College of Rheumatolgy


antinuclear antibodies




body surface area


cardiac magnetic resonance


C-reactive protein


ciclosporin A




diastolic pressure




energy loss


endothelin receptor antagonist


erythrocyte sedimentation rate


echo-particle image velocimetry


estimated glomerular filtration rate


fractional area change


fasting blood glucose






heart rate


immunoglobulin A


immunoglobulin G


immunoglobulin M


left atrial diameter




left ventricular


left ventricular end-diastolic diameter


left ventricular end-diastolic volume


left ventricular eject fraction


left ventricular end-systolic diameter


mycophenolate mofetil




pulmonary arterial hypertension


pulmonary artery systolic pressure


phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor


prostaglandin analogs


pro-brain natriuretic peptide




right atrial diameter


right ventricular diameter


systolic pressure


systemic lupus erythematosus


SLE disease activity index


tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion


total cholesterol


tissue Doppler imaging


tricuspid regurgitation velocity


vector flow mapping


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This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81871359).

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Authors and Affiliations



YW, JH, RY, and DX conceived and designed research; YW, JH, and DX collected data and conducted research; YW and RY analyzed and interpreted data; YW wrote the initial paper; DX, YW, and RY revised the paper; DX had primary responsibility for final content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Rongbin Yu or Di Xu.

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This study was approved by the local Institutional Review Board. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethics standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethics standards.

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Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.

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Wang, Y., Hong, J., Yu, R. et al. Evaluation of left ventricular function by vector flow mapping in females with systemic lupus erythematosus. Clin Rheumatol 40, 4049–4060 (2021).

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