Impaired diastolic function in active rheumatoid arthritis. Relationship with disease duration

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 1999 Jul-Aug;17(4):407-12.


Objective: Using digitized M-mode and Doppler echocardiography, we evaluated left ventricular (LV) function in 54 patients (43 women and 11 men; mean age 50 years) suffering from active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) without obvious cardiovascular disease, and compared them with 54 age- and sex-matched normal subjects.

Results: No differences were found in LV end-diastolic diameter, systolic function and parietal thickness between the patients and controls. However, a significant reduction in various indexes of LV diastolic function was found, including E/A (ratio of early to late filling waves of mitral inflow Doppler) and the peak lengthening rate of the LV diameter (an index of LV relaxation evaluated by M-mode echocardiography). The former was correlated with patient age and was independent of disease duration, while the latter was more markedly correlated with disease duration than with patient age.

Conclusion: The relationship between diastolic impairment and disease duration in active RA may open new perspectives in the study of RA-associated cardiovascular disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Diastole*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Prognosis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Systole
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / etiology*
  • Ventricular Function, Left