Rheumatoid arthritis affects left ventricular mass: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Salvatore Corrao, Luigi Calvo, Christiano Argano, Giovanni Pistone, Giovanni Pistone, Salvatore Corrao, Francesco Perticone

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cardiovascular disease represents one of the most important extra-articular causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Evidences showed that several cardiac structures can be affected during the course of the disease as well as abnormalities of left ventricular diastolic filling. Contrasting data are available about left ventricular mass (LVM) involvement in patients asymptomatic for cardiovascular disease.The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to summarize the effects of RA on LVM in rheumatoid arthritis patients without cardiovascular disease. Methods: A systematic research of the current case-control studies was conducted in Medline on November 20th, 2013. Studies were included if data of measurements of LVM were reported. The pooled mean effect size estimate was calculated according to methods described by Hedges and Olkin. Results: Sixteen eligible studies were included in this meta-analysis. RA determines an increase of absolute and indexed LVM compared with control patients [standardized mean difference (95% CI): 0.41(0.15-0.66) and 0.47(0.32-0.62), respectively]. On the contrary, posterior wall thickness did not show a significant RA effect. Finally, a significant positive effect of RA on interventricular wall thickness was found [standardized mean difference (95% CI): 0.39 (0.07-0.71)]. Conclusions: Results of this meta-analysis suggest that increased absolute and indexed LVM seem to be characteristic of RA patients with a fundamental clinical significance since they are related to an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Our data suggest the use of LVM as surrogate end-point for clinical trials involving RA patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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