A cross-sectional study of diastolic dysfunction in rheumatoid arthritis and its association with disease activity

Int J Rheum Dis. 2011 Feb;14(1):18-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-185X.2010.01593.x. Epub 2011 Jan 24.


Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients without clinically evident cardiovascular manifestations and to estimate whether there is any correlation between RA disease severity and disability and LV diastolic dysfunction.

Methods: The study was a cross-sectional study involving 53 patients (47 female and 6 male) with RA without clinically evident heart disease and 53 healthy subjects (47 female and 6 male) who served as a control group. Both groups were matched for age and sex. Echocardiographic and Doppler studies were conducted in all patients with RA and control subjects.

Results: Of 17 cardiac parameters assessed, only two were abnormal. None of the specific cardiac diastolic dysfunction parameters were significantly different in RA patients compared to the control group. There was no significant correlation between diastolic function values in RA patients and value of Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS-28) and value of Health Assessment Questionnaires Disability Index (HAQDI). Atrial (A) wave velocity was greater in RA patients compared to the control group (0.71 [0.58-0.83] vs. 0.61 [0.51-0.71]; P < 0.04). However, interventricular relaxation time (IVRT) ([73.08 ± 9.92 vs. 70.74 ± 9.02], P = 0.207), lower E/A ratio (1.27 [1.02-1.56] vs. 1.42 [1.20-1.68], P = 0.102), diastolic dysfunction parameters according to Redfield Classification (25 [47.2%] vs. 27 [50.9%] P = 0.56), diastolic dysfunction using E/A (P = 0.321) and tissue doppler imaging (E/E') (P = 0.148) were not different.

Conclusion: Prevalence of diastolic dysfunction in the rheumatoid arthritis group (47.2%) was not different from controls (50.9%). LV diastolic function had no significant correlation with RA disease severity and duration of disease.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • China / ethnology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diastole
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnosis*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology*