Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic disease of unknown etiology characterized by a chronic inflammatory process mainly leading to destruction of synovial membrane of small and major diarthrodial joints. The prevalence of RA within the general adult population is about 1% and female subjects in fertile age result mostly involved. It's an invalidating disease, associated with changes in life quality and a reduced life expectancy. Moreover, we can observe an increased mortality rate in this population early after the onset of the disease. The mortality excess can be partially due to infective, gastrointestinal, renal or pulmonary complications and malignancy (mainly lung cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma). Among extra-articular complications, cardiovascular (CV) involvement represents one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Every cardiac structure can be affected by different pathogenic pathways: heart valves, conduction system, myocardium, endocardium, pericardium and coronary arteries. Consequently, different clinical manifestations can be detected, including: pericarditis, myocarditis, myocardial fibrosis, arrhythmias, alterations of conduction system, coronaropathies and ischemic cardiopathy, valvular disease, pulmonary hypertension and heart failure. Considering that early cardiac involvement negatively affects the prognosis, it is mandatory to identify high CV risk RA patients to better define long-term management of this population.
|Translated title of the contribution||Cardiac involvement in rheumatoid arthritis|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
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