[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to determine the early cardiac valvular changes in young male ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients.
A total of 70 AS patients on treatment without clinical cardiac symptoms were divided into group I (< 10 years, n = 50) and group II (≥ 10 years, n = 20) depending on their disease duration after first diagnosis. Twenty-five healthy volunteers were selected as control subjects. All the subjects underwent transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, electrocardiography, and rheumatologic evaluation for AS patients.
The thickness of both the aortic and mitral valve was more increased in AS patients than in controls. Aortic valve thickness over 1.3 mm could predict AS with a sensitivity of 73% and specificity of 76%. The prevalence of aortic valve thickening was higher in the AS group compared to the controls. The prevalence of aortic and mitral regurgitation was very low and there was no difference between the controls and the patients. The aortic valve thickening was related to longer disease duration, high blood pressure, disease activity and inflammatory markers.
Thickening of the aortic and mitral valve was observed without regurgitation in male AS patients early in the course of their disease without clinical cardiac manifestations. This subclinical change of aorto-mitral valve in early AS should be considered and followed up to determine its prognostic implication and evolution.
Journal of cardiovascular ultrasound 03/2012; 20(1):30-6.