Two-Dimensional Speckle-Tracking Echocardiography Reveals Systolic Abnormalities in Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Wegener’s)
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BACKGROUND: Two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) is a novel technique providing accurate assessment of myocardial function. However, its value in granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's) (WG) has not been studied. OBJECTIVE: To assess the presence and frequency of systolic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction using STE and to determine incremental value of STE over standard echocardiography to detect myocardial abnormalities in WG. METHODS: Twenty-two WG patients (11 males, 11 females, mean age 46.8 ± 12.3 years) and 22 sex- and age-matched healthy subjects underwent standard and STE. Global longitudinal, circumferential, and rotational deformation parameters were calculated. RESULTS: All patients had LV ejection fraction (EF) >50%. LVEF was 65.0 ± 7.5% and LV end-diastolic volume index 44.8 ± 11.8 mL/m(2) . Regional LV wall motion abnormalities were found in 7 (32%), while abnormal global STE determined systolic dysfunction in 16 (73%) subjects (P = 0.008). Global longitudinal, circumferential and radial peak-systolic deformational parameters (strain or strain rate) were decreased in 11 (50%), 9 (41%), and 3 (14%) patients (P = 0.02), respectively. Comparing patients with abnormal and normal STE derived global systolic function, the former had higher cumulative disease extent index (10.6 ± 3.0 vs 7.5 ± 1.8; P = 0.03) and vasculitis damage index (7.9 ± 1.9 vs 6.0 ± 1.7; P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Despite normal LVEF the global systolic LV abnormalities detected by STE are common in WG. They correspond to the extent and severity of WG and are more frequent than regional wall motion abnormalities in standard echocardiography.
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