Evaluation of cardiac structures and function in systemic sclerosis by Doppler echocardiography

Cardiology. 1991;79(3):165-71. doi: 10.1159/000174876.


Ventricular diastolic filling was investigated in a series of 51 consecutive patients with systemic sclerosis by means of Doppler echocardiography. Peak flow velocity in early (peak E) and late (peak A) diastole, E/A ratio, slope of the early diastolic flow velocity and isovolumic relaxation period were calculated. Nine out of the 51 patients showed abnormalities of ventricular filling dynamics in the absence of left ventricular systolic dysfunction at rest and after provocation. The abnormal diastolic filling pattern in these patients was detected in spite of the absence of systemic hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy or other clinically evident myocardial disease. These diastolic abnormalities might represent an isolated evidence of the underlying myocardial fibrosis not yet clinically apparent.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Cardiac Output / physiology
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology*
  • Diastole / physiology*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler*
  • Female
  • Heart Valves / physiopathology
  • Hemodynamics / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / physiopathology*