Subclinical left ventricular dysfunction by echocardiographic speckle-tracking strain analysis relates to outcome in sarcoidosis

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Abstract

Aims

Limited data exist on the risk of developing cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) and/or adverse events in sarcoidosis patients. Using LV global longitudinal strain (GLS), an emerging sensitive parameter of LV function, we evaluated the prevalence of subclinical cardiac dysfunction in sarcoidosis and investigated whether LVGLS predicts adverse outcomes in this population.

Methods and results

A total of 130 patients with proven sarcoidosis undergoing echocardiography at our referral centre were identified. Following exclusion of those with evidence of CS (n = 14) or other pre-existing structural heart disease (n = 16), 100 patients (55 ± 13 years, 48% male, 90% pulmonary involvement) and 100 age- and gender-matched controls were included. LVGLS was measured by speckle-tracking analysis. The primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause mortality, heart failure hospitalization, device implantation, new arrhythmias, or future development of CS on advanced cardiac imaging modalities. LVGLS was significantly impaired in sarcoidosis patients compared with controls (–17.3 ± 2.5 vs. –20.0 ± 1.6%, P < 0.001). Overall, 27 patients (27%) reached the endpoint during a median follow-up of 35 months. On Cox proportional hazards model analysis, abnormal 24-h Holter, larger LV end-diastolic diameters, and more impaired LVGLS were significantly associated with the endpoint; however, only LVGLS remained independently associated on multivariate analysis [hazard ratio (HR) 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1–1.7, P = 0.006]. Patients with LVGLS less than –17.3% were significantly more likely to be free of the primary endpoint (log-rank P = 0.01).

Conclusion

LVGLS is impaired in sarcoidosis patients, suggesting subclinical cardiac dysfunction despite the absence of conventional evidence of cardiac disease, and is independently associated with occurrence of cardiac events and/or development of CS.

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