Assessment of Myocardial Performance Index and Aortic Elasticity in Patients With Beta-Thalassemia Major

Cem Sahin, Ozcan Basaran, Ibrahim Altun, Fatih Akin, Yasar Topal, Hatice Topal, Murat Biteker, Mehmet Fatih Azik


Background: This study aimed to assess myocardial performance index (MPI) and arterial elasticity indices in asymptomatic patients with beta-thalassemia major without known heart disease and to determine relationship between these indices and parameters indicating iron load of body.

Methods: The study included 55 asymptomatic beta-thalassemia patients (median age: 20 years (10 - 48 years)) without known history of heart disease and 40 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. MPI and arterial elasticity indices were determined by using standard two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography. Data were analyzed by SPSS for Windows version 20.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).

Results: Left ventricular mass index (83.917 (50.62 - 144) and 68.37 (41.9 - 113.3)) and MPI (0.464 (0.33 - 0.68) and 0.431 (0.31 - 0.51)) were significantly higher in patients with beta-thalassemia when compared to control group (P < 0.001 and P = 0.006). Aortic elasticity indices were significantly higher while aortic strain and distensibility values were significantly lower in patients with beta-thalassemia compared to controls (all P values < 0.001). Positive correlations were detected between aortic stiffness index and platelet (r = 0.235; P = 0.019) and ferritin values (r = 0.328; P = 0.008). Presence of thalassemia (β = -0.729; P = 0.041) and higher platelet value (β = 0.235; P = 0.019) were significant determinants for increased aortic stiffness in linear regression analysis.

Conclusion: Arterial elasticity indices and MPI are impaired in patients with beta-thalassemia major and these parameters may be used to predict cardiovascular complications in asymptomatic patients with beta-thalassemia major.

J Clin Med Res. 2015;7(10):795-801


Beta-thalassemia; Myocardial performance index; Aortic elasticity

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