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Rheumatol Int. 2000;19(6):209-12.

Cardiac involvement in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis.

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Istituto Di Clinica Medica I Università La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) is a systemic necrotizing vasculitis, which could potentially affect any organ system. However, there have only been a few reports on cardiac involvement. We described the echocardiographic findings in nine patients affected by WG. A complete M-mode, two-dimensional, Doppler and color-Doppler transthoracic echocardiogram was performed in nine patients (seven females and two males) affected by WG. In each patient, cardiac abnormality, for example, valvular damage, left ventricular global systolic dysfunction, or pericardial effusion, was detected. In particular, heart valve disease was found in eight patients, and in three cases, aortic valve insufficiency, which was severe enough to require surgical valve replacement, was observed. Cardiac involvement in patients with WG is common. In particular, there is a high frequency of aortic valve abnormalities. Thus, an echocardiographic study should be routinely performed.

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