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22 February 2002

Early cardiovascular involvement in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).

Marzenna Zielińska, Iwona Cygankiewicz, Jerzy Wranicz, Bozena Dziankowska-Bartkowiak, Anna Sysa-Jedrzejowska

Med Sci Monit 2002; 8(2): CR78-82 :: ID: 420937


BACKGROUND: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease characterizedby progressive fibrosis of the skin, and by distinctive forms of internal organ involvement. Symptomsusually occur relatively late and are nonspecific, thus often unrecognized. The purpose of our studywas to evaluate cardiac function in patients with SSc by means of non-invasive methods in order to detectearly dysfunction of the cardiovascular system. MATERIAL/METHODS: A group of 22 patients with SSc wascompared with a group of 22 healthy volunteers. Standard EKG, 24-hour Holter monitoring (HM), and echocardiographywere performed in all subjects. RESULTS: In patients with SSc, HM revealed a tendency to tachycardia.Conduction disturbances were observed in 3 patients. In 6 patients significant ventricular arrhythmiawas found. Silent ischemia episodes were detected in 6 patients. In HRV analysis, significantly lowervalues were detected in patients with SSc than in controls. LPs were present in one patient with SSc,and none in the control group. The mean values for QT interval did not exceed the range of normal values.No signs of systolic cardiac dysfunction were detected, while in 6 patients left ventricle diastolicdysfunction was recognized. Valvular lesions were observed in 8 patients, but only in 2 patients werethey hemodynamically important. CONCLUSIONS: 24-hour Holter monitoring and echocardiography enable theearly detection of cardiovascular dysfunction in patients with systemic sclerosis presenting withoutapparent cardiac impairment symptoms.

Keywords: Adolescent, Cardiovascular System, Echocardiography, Electrocardiography, Scleroderma, Systemic

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750