Cardiac Structure and Function in Adults with Down Syndrome

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 28;19(19):12310. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191912310.


Various factors may alter the risk for cardiovascular disease in adults with Down syndrome (Ds), yet few studies have examined differences in cardiac physiology in this population. Previous research suggested lower systolic and diastolic function, but inconsistent methodologies and younger samples warrant research in adults with Ds. Our aim is to compare the cardiac structure and function of adults with Ds to age- and sex-matched adults without Ds. Echocardiography was used to assess systolic function, diastolic function, and cardiac structure in n = 19 adults (Ds n = 9, control n = 10). Regarding cardiac structure, adults with Ds had increased left ventricular posterior wall thickness at end-systole compared to adults without Ds (p = 0.007). Regarding systolic and diastolic function, adults with Ds were found to have lower septal peak systolic annular velocity (S') (p = 0.026), lower lateral and septal mitral annular early diastolic velocity (E') (p = 0.007 and p = 0.025, respectively), lower lateral peak mitral annular late diastolic velocity (A') (p = 0.027), and higher lateral and septal mitral annular early systolic velocity to diastolic velocity ratios (E/e') (p = 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively). Differences in both cardiac structure and function were found when comparing adults with Ds to matched adults without Ds. Most of the differences were indicative of worse diastolic function.

Keywords: Down syndrome; cardiac function; cardiac structure; echocardiography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diastole / physiology
  • Down Syndrome*
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Humans
  • Mitral Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Mitral Valve / physiology
  • Systole / physiology
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology