Patients with MS have more heart problems

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) may have more cardiovascular dysfunction, including impaired biventricular function and reduced left atrial function, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports.

“There is little knowledge about the cardiovascular function in MS, and subsequent research is required to improve the understanding of these mechanisms and to develop management algorithms capable to detect and prevent cardiovascular adverse events in this population,” wrote lead author Dragos Vinereanu, MD, PhD, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila, in Romania, and colleagues.

The researchers sought to assess cardiac and arterial function in patients with MS and compare them with individuals who did not have MS. The end goal was to provide a “pilot model” for the early detection of cardiovascular dysfunction in patients.

More than 100 patients underwent comprehensive echocardiography—67 with MS and 36 without. All patients had similar incidence of cardiovascular risk factors including arterial hypertension, obesity and high lipids in the blood.

Patients who were diagnosed with MS had decreased left ventricle systolic excursion, which was confirmed by lower 2D and 3D ejection fraction. They also exhibited mitral annular plane systolic excursion, longitudinal myocardial systolic velocities and 2D and 3D global longitudinal strain. Arterial and endothelial function were similar between groups.

The researchers recommended that noninvasive echocardiographic techniques may help detect cardiovascular dysfunction in MS patients earlier as they are “harmless, inexpensive and largely available.”

“The advance in the therapy of MS significantly improves survival and morbidity, but we should not allow this effect to be diminished by the cardiovascular morbidity,” the authors concluded. “Our exploratory study needs further confirmation before being implementing by guidelines in patients with MS, however, it opens important premises for further research and innovation in the new field of neuro-cardiology.”