Echocardiographic Test and the Early Detection of Systolic Failure in Systemic Sclerosis Patients: Strain and Strain Rate Echocardiography


1 Cardiovascular Research Center,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,Mashhad, IR Iran

2 Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,Mashhad, IR Iran

3 Razavi Cancer Research Center, Razavi Hospital, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran

4 Rheumatic Disease Research Center,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,Mashhad, IR Iran

5 Associate Professor of Cardiology, Razavi Hospital,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,Mashhad, IR Iran



Abstract Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a leading cause of death in systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients. Early detection of systolic failure in SSc patients will facilitate early treatment and improve the survival rate of these patients. Objectives: In this study, besides studying the RV function in SSC patients, attempts have beenmade to find a new possible nonin- vasive echocardiographic test for early diagnosis of systolic failure as a PAH complication. Methods: 30 patientswith at least a 2-year history of diffuse SSc confirmed by an expert rheumatologistwere enrolled in this study. All the patients underwent transthoracic echocardiography by an echocardiologist. Fractional area change (FAC) of the right ven- tricle (RV), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), RV lateralwall strain and strain rate (Base,Mid, Apex), RV-EDD and RV pressure with respect to inferior vena cava (IVC) diameter as well as Left Ventricle’s Ejection Fraction (LVEF) were evaluated. Results: The prevalence rate of PAH was reported 36.6% in this study. There was no significant relationship between LVEF and RV parameters. LVEF was found to be significantly higher in women whereas RV strain turned out to be higher inmen. Besides, there was a significant relation between pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) and Basal (P = 0.03),mid RV strain (P = 0.002), RV strain rate (P = 0.001) and RV diameter (P = 0.02). Also, an inverse relationwas observed between RV systolic (P = 0.01) and diastolic functions (P = 0.007) with PAP. In addition, no significant relationship was found between LVEF and bodymass index (BMI) and RV parameters (P > 0.05). Moreover, Apical RV strain and LVEF were found to be higher inmales and females respectively. Furthermore, a significant relationshipwas found between RV strain and age (P = 0.027). Finally, the results did not show any relationship between RV systolic and diastolic functions and gender. Conclusions: This paper states the likely advantages of strain and strain rate echocardiography in identifying patients withmore diffused and severe SSc and the need for further longitudinal studies based on thementionedmethod for early diagnosis ofmyocar- dial impairment.