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Rheumatol Int. 2004 May;24(3):141-6. Epub 2003 Jun 19.

Ventricular function abnormalities in active rheumatoid arthritis: a Doppler echocardiographic study.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Meram Medical School of Selcuk University, Meram-Konya, Turkey.



The aim of the present study was to evaluate cardiac involvement in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Forty patients with active RA participated. All were submitted to standard Doppler echocardiography and myocardial performance index (MPI) grading.


There were left and right ventricular diastolic function abnormalities in RA patients. Left ventricular MPI was also significantly higher than in controls ( P<0.05). A relationship was found between left ventricular early diastolic (E)/atrial (A) flow velocities (E/A ratio), isovolumic relaxation time (IRT), and disease duration ( r=-0.47 and P=0.002, r=0.618 and P=0.000, respectively).


Diastolic function was impaired in both ventricles in patients with active RA. There was a direct relationship between some of the parameters of left ventricular diastolic function and disease duration as well. These findings suggest a subclinical myocardial involvement in RA patients.

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