Echocardiographic and Doppler Findings in Long-Term Treated Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients without Clinically Evident Cardiovascular Disease

Carlos Gonzalez-Juanatey, Ana Testa, Alberto Garcia-Castelo, Carlos Garcia-Porrua, Javier Llorca, William E R Ollier, Miguel A. Gonzalez-Gay

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: To assess the frequency of echocardiographic and Doppler abnormalities in long-term treated rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients without clinically evident cardiovascular manifestations. Methods: Forty-seven patients with RA were recruited from Hospital Xeral-Calde, Lugo, Spain. Patients were required to have been treated for at least 5 years and to be on treatment with 1 or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Patients seen during the period of recruitment who had cardiovascular risk factors or had suffered cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events were excluded. Forty-seven healthy matched controls were also studied. Echocardiographic and Doppler studies were performed in all cases and controls. Patients were HLA-DRB1 genotyped by using molecular-based methods. Results: In patients with RA, the prevalence of aortic regurgitation (17%) and tricuspid regurgitation (17%) was not higher than that seen in controls (15% and 6%). The pulmonary artery systolic pressure was higher in patients with RA (30.3 ± 8.0 mm Hg) than in controls (26.2 ± 4.8) (P = .004). Incidence of pulmonary artery systolic pressure >35 mm Hg was significantly higher in patients with RA (21% versus 4% in controls; P = .03). Diastolic dysfunction caused by impaired relaxation was also more common in patients with RA (66%) than in controls (43%) (P = .02). It was more frequent in the older patients. Extra-articular manifestations were more common in patients with RA with diastolic dysfunction (P = .05). The HLA-DRB1 genotype was not implicated in the risk of developing diastolic dysfunction. Conclusions: The present study confirms a high frequency of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension in patients with RA without evident cardiovascular disease. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)231-238
    Number of pages7
    JournalSeminars in arthritis and rheumatism
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


    • Diastolic dysfunction
    • Pulmonary hypertension
    • Rheumatoid arthritis


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