Introduction: The aim of this study is to evaluate cardiac functional alterations of ankylosing
spondylitis patients without any cardiovascular risk factors.
Patients and Methods: Thirty seven consecutive akylosing spondylitis patients without any
cardiovascular risk factors constituted our study patient population (age: 41.4 ± 11.1 years, 28
male). Electrocardiographs (ECG) of all patients were obtained and all patients underwent comprehensive transthoracic echocardiographic examination. QRS durations, p wave dispersion and
corrected QT dispersion (QTcd) values were calculated from 12-lead ECG’s. Data refl ecting left
ventricular systolic and diastolic functions were obtained from echocardiographic examinations.
Data of patients were compared with the data of 28 age-and gender matched healthy control
subjects (age: 40.1 ± 10.5 years, 19 male).
Results: There were no signifi cant differences between patients and controls regarding QRS
durations, p wave dispersion and QTcd values. There were also no signifi cant differences between patients and controls regarding parameters refl ecting left ventricular systolic and diastolic
functions. Annular velocities at mitral and tricuspid annulus levels evaluated with pulsed-wave
tissue Doppler imaging were also similar as well. Two (7.2%) subjects in the control group and
2 (5.4%) patients in the akylosing spondylitis group had minimal aortic regurgitation (p= 0.51).
Conclusion: We could not demonstrate any electrocardiographic or echocardiographic evidence of structural myocardial alterations in a small sample of akylosing spondylitis patients free
of cardiovascular risk factors. Effects of frequently encountered co-existent cardiovascular risk
factors of ankylosing spondylitis patients might have contributed to the confl icting literature data
related with this topic.