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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 1999 Jul-Aug;17(4):407-12.

Impaired diastolic function in active rheumatoid arthritis. Relationship with disease duration.

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Servizio di Reumatologia, University of Pavia, Italy.



Using digitized M-mode and Doppler echocardiography, we evaluated left ventricular (LV) function in 54 patients (43 women and 11 men; mean age 50 years) suffering from active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) without obvious cardiovascular disease, and compared them with 54 age- and sex-matched normal subjects.


No differences were found in LV end-diastolic diameter, systolic function and parietal thickness between the patients and controls. However, a significant reduction in various indexes of LV diastolic function was found, including E/A (ratio of early to late filling waves of mitral inflow Doppler) and the peak lengthening rate of the LV diameter (an index of LV relaxation evaluated by M-mode echocardiography). The former was correlated with patient age and was independent of disease duration, while the latter was more markedly correlated with disease duration than with patient age.


The relationship between diastolic impairment and disease duration in active RA may open new perspectives in the study of RA-associated cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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