What is the role of Doppler echocardiography in the diagnosis of systemic sclerosis (SSc)?

Updated: Mar 17, 2020
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Cardiac and pulmonary vascular involvement in systemic sclerosis should be evaluated. Cardiac abnormalities may be assessed by Doppler echocardiography. [36] Left- and right-sided heart diseases were found to be common in persons with systemic sclerosis. A few patients had a restrictive mitral flow pattern, possibly due to primary cardiac involvement of systemic sclerosis. Diastolic dysfunction is the most common cardiac finding. [37]  Early detection of cardiac and renal involvement in patients even without symptoms is recommended to avoid further complications. [38]

Because cardiac involvement is one of the major problems in systemic sclerosis, evaluation of ventricular function using echocardiographic strain imaging should be considered, because it appears to be useful to detect subclinical cardiac involvement in systemic sclerosis patients with normal standard echocardiographic and tissue Doppler velocity findings. [39]


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