Clinical Note| Volume 49, ISSUE 5, P1337-1344, May 2023

Quantitative Assessment of Right Ventricular Function in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Using the Novel Non-invasive Pressure–Strain Loop



      Current echocardiography evaluation of right ventricular (RV) function, which heralds the prognosis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is of limited utility. The non-invasive pressure–strain loop (PSL), an emerging technique, has been found to feasible, sensitive and accurate in the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study was to quantitatively evaluate, using the non-invasive PSL, the right ventricular myocardial work (RVMW) in SLE patients.


      Seventy-five SLE patients were recruited and grouped by pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) into normal (group A, N = 26), mild (group B, N = 22) and moderate to severe (group C, N = 27) groups. Twenty-five healthy volunteers undergoing physical examination were recruited as the control group. Right ventricular global myocardial work index (RVGWI), global constructive work (RVGCW), global wasted work (RVGWW), global work efficiency (RVGWE), global longitudinal strain (RVGLS) and other conventional parameters were measured.


      There were no differences between group A and the control group with respect to RVLS, RVGLS and all RVMW parameters (all p values > 0.05). RVGWI and RVGCW significantly differed among the other groups (all p values < 0.05). RVGWE was significantly lower and RVGWW was significantly higher in group C than in the control group and groups A and B (all p values < 0.05). Compared with the control group, RVGWW was significantly increased and RVGLS was significantly decreased in group B (all p values < 0.05). All but one RVMW parameter moderately to strongly correlated with SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) and World Health Organization Functional Class (WHO-FC). RVGWW (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] = 0.893) and RVGWE (AUC = 0.877) were sensitive parameters in detecting earlier cardiac dysfunction in SLE patients.


      RVGWW and RVGWE serve as sensitive and promising parameters in the integrative analysis of early right ventricular dysfunction in SLE patients. To conclude, non-invasive PSL, the novel method, facilitates the quantitative assessment of RVMW in SLE patients.


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