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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2000 May;35(6):1599-606.

Early changes in left ventricular function in chronic asymptomatic alcoholics: relation to the duration of heavy drinking.

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  • 1Cardiology Division, National Cardiovascular Center, Suita, Osaka, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study sought to assess preclinical cardiac abnormalities in chronic alcoholic patients and possible differences among alcoholics related to the duration of heavy drinking.

BACKGROUND:

Chronic excessive alcohol intake has been reported as a possible cause of dilated cardiomyopathy. However, before the appearance of severe cardiac dysfunction, subtle signs of cardiac abnormalities may be identified.

METHODS:

We studied 30 healthy subjects (age 44 +/- 8 years) and 89 asymptomatic alcoholics (age 45 +/- 8 years, p = NS) divided into three groups, with short (S, 5-9 years, n = 31), intermediate (I, 10-15 years, n = 31) and long (L, 16-28 years, n = 27) duration of alcoholism. Transmitral early (E) and late (A) Doppler flow velocities, E/A ratio, deceleration time of E (DT) and isovolumic relaxation time (IVRT) were obtained. Left ventricular (LV) wall thickness and volumes were also determined by echocardiography, and LV mass and ejection fraction (EF) were calculated.

RESULTS:

The alcoholics had prolonged IVRT (92 +/- 11 vs. 83 +/- 7 ms, p < 0.001), longer DT (180 +/- 20 vs. 170 +/- 10 ms, p < 0.01), smaller E/A (1.25 +/- 0.34 vs. 1.40 +/- 0.32, p < 0.05), larger LV volumes (73 +/- 8 vs. 65 +/- 7 ml/m2, p < 0.001 for end-diastolic volume index; 25 +/- 4 vs. 21 +/- 2 ml/m2, p < 0.001 for end-systolic volume index), higher LV mass index (92 +/- 14 vs. 78 +/- 8 g/m2, p < 0.001) and thicker posterior wall (9 +/- 1 vs. 8 +/- 1 mm, p < 0.001). Ejection fraction did not differ between the two groups (66 +/- 4 vs. 67 +/- 2%). Deceleration time of the early transmitral flow velocity was longer in groups L (187 +/- 18 ms) and I (185 +/- 16 ms) compared with group S (168 +/- 17 ms, p < 0.001 for L and I vs. S), whereas A was higher in group L compared with S (43 +/- 10 vs. 51 +/- 10 cm/s, p < 0.005). Multiple regression analysis identified duration of heavy drinking as the most important variable affecting DT and A.

CONCLUSIONS:

Left ventricular dilation with preserved EF and impaired LV relaxation characterized LV function in chronic asymptomatic alcoholic patients. It appeared that the progression of abnormalities in LV diastolic filling related to the duration of alcoholism.

PMID:
10807466
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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