Cardiac Involvement and Echocardiographic Characteristics in Rheumatoid Arthritis


Department of Cardiology, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, I.R. Iran.


Background: As the cardiac function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has not been well studied via echocardiography yet, we aimed to determine cardiac involvement and echocardiographic features in patients with RA of at least 5 years’ duration who referred to our hospital between 2012 and 2014. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, patients with RA were compared to healthy controls in terms of the cardiac function via Doppler echocardiography. After collecting the clinical and demographic data in both groups, we performed Doppler echocardiography for both groups to evaluate ventricular function and dimensions as well as valvular function. Results: Forty-six patients with RA (mean age = 51.3 y) were compared to 48 healthy controls (mean age = 50.2 y). The body mass index was significantly higher in the patients with RA (P = 0.01). Left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly lower in the case group (P<0.001). The frequency of mitral and tricuspid regurgitation was higher in the patients with RA (P = 0.008 and P = 0.005, respectively). Also, chamber dimensions and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) were significantly abnormal in the case group. There was a reverse correlation between TAPSE and disease duration (r = -0.29; P = 0.04). Conclusions: In this study, we observed disturbed echocardiographic characteristic features in the patients with RA as compared with the controls.