Echo-Doppler left ventricular filling abnormalities in patients with rheumatoid arthritis without clinically evident cardiovascular disease

Eur J Clin Invest. 1996 Apr;26(4):293-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2362.1996.133284.x.


Our investigation aimed at verifying diastolic abnormalities in rheumatoid patients, without clinically evident cardiovascular disease and other confounding complaints, by using pulsed Doppler examination of transmitral blood flow. We selected 40 patients fulfilling revised American Rheumatism Association (ARA) criteria for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis having no symptoms of cardiac disease or clinical findings of other extracardiac diseases. We also studied 40 rheumatoid-matched healthy volunteers as a control group. An echocardiographic examination was carried out on each subject. Left ventricular structural and functional measurements were obtained. Interventricular, septal thickness and left ventricular mass index were significantly higher in rheumatoid patients than in the control group. We also found in rheumatoid patients higher mean values of peak A velocity and A/E ratio. When multiple linear regression analysis was performed on the data of rheumatoid patients we found an independent relationship only between A/E ratio and left ventricular mass. In conclusion, our results confirm diastolic abnormalities in rheumatoid patients and point out that these abnormalities also affect echo-Doppler parameters of left ventricular filling. Moreover, further analysis of our data may suggest the possibility that structural left ventricle changes could be responsible for left ventricular filling impairment.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Echocardiography, Doppler*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Function, Left