Background Aortic Root Function in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Evaluation by M-Mode Echocardiography.
Objectives To evaluate aortic root function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods 29 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (mean age 51 years) and 29 healthy subjects (mean age 49 years) participated in the study. In addition to the standard echocardiographic examination, aortic root function was evaluated in these groups by transthoracic M-mode echocardiography. RA was diagnosed according to the ARA criteria of 1987. Blood pressure with end-systolic (AoS) and end-diastolic (AoD) M-mode measurements of ascending aorta were used to calculate the indices of aortic root function: beta index (Peterson’s elastic modulus), cross-sectional aortic compliance, aortic stiffness index and aortic root distensibility. The mean values of the two groups were compared by covariance analysis, taking age as the covariant. A p value <0.05 was assumed to be significant.
Results AoS and AoD were significantly higher in patients with RA than the control group (p < 0.05). Aortic stiffness and beta indexes were significantly higher in RA group when compared with the controls.
Conclusion When compared with the controls AoS, AoD, beta index and aortic stiffness index are significantly higher in patients with RA. This may affect cardiac function in patients with RA at long term.
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