Echocardiographic follow-up of patients with systemic sclerosis by 2D speckle tracking echocardiography of the left ventricle

Sebastian Spethmann*, Karl Rieper, Gabriela Riemekasten, Adrian C. Borges, Sebastian Schattke, Gerd Ruediger Burmester, Bernd Hewing, Gert Baumann, Henryk Dreger, Fabian Knebel

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
24 Zitate (Scopus)


Background: Subclinical myocardial involvement is common in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and associated with poor prognosis. Early detection, particularly during follow-up, is important. Two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) has already been shown to detect early left ventricular systolic impairment in SSc patients with advanced disease. The aim of this study was to assess the ability of STE to diagnose changes in left ventricular function in patients with SSc with preserved LV ejection fraction (LVEF) and normal pulmonary pressure over time. Methods. This single-center pilot study included nineteen SSc patients without pulmonary hypertension and preserved LVEF (55.2 ± 10.8 years, 13 women, mean modified Rodnan Skin Score of 8.2 ± 6.5, median disease duration 6 ± 4.5 years). We performed STE at baseline and after two years (mean 756.6 ± 8.8 days). Pulmonary hypertension was ruled out in all patients by right heart catheterization (average mean PAP 17.7 ± 3.5 mmHg). Results: The LVEF remained unchanged (63.3 ± 4.2% vs. 63.2 ± 5.0%, P = ns), but the global longitudinal peak systolic strain of the left ventricle was significantly lower: baseline -22.0 ± 2.3% vs. follow-up -20.8 ± 2.1% (P = 0.04). The regional analysis showed a heterogeneous distribution of segmental systolic dysfunction that did not match any particular coronary artery distribution. In contrast, the LV diastolic function remained stable during follow-up. Conclusion: STE might be a sensititive and valuable method to detect early LV systolic impairment in patients with SSc and preserved LVEF during two years. Prospective evaluations are needed for prognostic implications of these changes.

ZeitschriftCardiovascular Ultrasound
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 29.03.2014

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Infektion und Entzündung - Zentrum für Infektions- und Entzündungsforschung Lübeck (ZIEL)


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