Ultrasound May Detect Heart Disease Earlier in Arthritis Patients

WEDNESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) — A special type of
ultrasound can detect heart disease early in people with rheumatoid
arthritis, according to a new study.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are at increased risk for heart
disease, and it is important to be able to spot the disease at an early
stage and begin treatment before it progresses to the point where a
patient is at danger for a heart attack or heart failure, the researchers
from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., explained.

Diagnostic methods commonly used by doctors, however, often
underestimate the degree of heart danger in these patients.

“The challenge we’ve had in our studies — and other people have had as
well — is identifying patients with rheumatoid arthritis early enough so
we can intervene, before the symptoms become clinically apparent,” senior
researcher Dr. Sherine Gabriel, a rheumatologist and epidemiologist, said
in a Mayo news release.

In this study, the research team used a type of ultrasound called
speckle-tracking echocardiography to assess heart function in 100
rheumatoid arthritis patients and 50 people without rheumatoid arthritis
or heart disease.

The arthritis patients had heart impairment that wasn’t seen in the
healthy people, and this impairment had a unique pattern that could be
used to identify heart disease before patients have clinical signs.

The study was presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the European
League Against Rheumatism, in Berlin.

A recently published Mayo Clinic study found that two widely used heart
disease risk-assessment methods — the Framingham and Reynolds risk
scores — often underestimate the heart danger in many rheumatoid
arthritis patients, according to the news release.

This ultrasound test could help improve early detection of heart
problems in these patients, Gabriel said.

Because the new study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and
conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a
peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin
Diseases has more about rheumatoid arthritis.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes