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Evaluation of cardiac function and systolic dyssynchrony of fetuses exposed to maternal autoimmune diseases using speckle tracking echocardiography

Shasha Duan, Si Ha, Shujuan Li, Yaxi Wang, Yilu Shi, Haiyue Zhao, Lu Zhang, Xiaoshan Zhang,
Clinical Rheumatology pp 1-9; doi:10.1007/s10067-021-05723-6

Abstract: Objectives To compare cardiac function and systolic dyssynchrony of fetuses not exposed to and those exposed to maternal autoimmune antibodies using two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (2DSTE). Methods An observational study of 52 fetuses, 18 from mothers with autoimmune antibodies (anti-SSA/Ro60, anti-Ro52 or/and anti-SSB/La) and 34 from healthy mothers without antibodies, was conducted. Maternal baseline characteristics, fetoplacental Doppler parameters, and conventional echocardiographic data were prospectively collected. Systolic global and regional longitudinal strain of left and right ventricle (LV and RV) and the time to peak strain of regional myocardium were measured using 2DSTE. We also calculated the differences in time to peak strain between the LV free wall and RV free wall (two-chamber dyssynchrony, 2C-DYS) and the LV dyssynchrony between the septum and LV free wall (one-chamber dyssynchrony, 1C-DYS). Results There were no significant differences in conventional systolic and diastolic functional parameters for the LV and RV. No effect modification was demonstrated in a myocardial deformation analysis. However, 1C-DYS was significantly more prolonged in the maternal autoimmune disease group (19.50 [8.00 to 29.25] vs. 28.50 [13.50 to 39.25], P = 0.042). Conclusions LV systolic mechanical dyssynchrony in fetuses of mothers with autoimmune antibodies suggests in-utero subclinical damage of the cardiac conduction system. Key points• The left ventricular systolic dyssynchrony was significantly more prolonged in the maternal autoimmune disease (AD) fetuses. • Subclinical damage to the left ventricular conduction system of the fetal heart in maternal AD was observed. • Systolic and diastolic functional of the left and right ventricle were preserved in fetuses exposed to maternal autoimmune disease.
Keywords: Antibodies / Echocardiography / Anti-SSA / Anti-SSB / Systolic dyssynchrony

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