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Original Research

Med Arch. 2010; 64(2): 101-102

Cardiac and Pulmonary Alterations in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Idriz Berisha, Blerim Berisha, Xhevdet Krasniqi.


Introduction: cardiac and pulmonary clinical manifestations frequently absent in patients with rheumatoid arthritis(RA). The aim of this study was to evaluate cardiac and pulmonary alterations in RA among patients without clinical manifestations. Materials and methods: The study was conducted in 169 patients (127 female and 42 male, with mean age 51.6, SD± 12.7 years, P>0.05) with RA diagnosed on the basis of ACR criteria. All patients underwent a transthoracal echocardiography (TTE), a chest X ray, an electrocardiogram and laboratory tests. Patients with clinical manifestations of cardiac and pulmonary disease were excluded from the study. Results: Pericarditis was evidenced in 16.6%, mitral regurgitation in 21.9%, aortal regurgitation in 26%, and pulmonary diffuse fibrosis in 16.6% of cases The authors found that 158 (93.5%) of patients were CRP positive. Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that cardiac and pulmonary alterations are frequently present and prevalence of elevated CRP levels and positive serologic tests was high in asymptomatic patients with RA among patients without clinical manifestations.

Key words: rheumatoid arthritis, cardiac and pulmonary alterations

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