Echocardiographic evaluation of posterior left ventricular wall motion in muscular dystrophy.
Maximal systolic endocardial velocity (SEVM) and maximal diastolic endocardial velocity (DEVM) were determined echocardiographically in patients with muscular dystrophy (MD). The SEVM of the muscular dystrophy patients was 5.5 +/- 0.9 cm/sec and the DEVM was 13 +/- 3 cm/sec. The SEVM in MD was significantly less than that seen in age-matched normals (P less than 0.05), persons with myotonia congenita (P less than 0.02), deconditioned patients (P less than 0.001), or older normal persons (P less than 0.05). The Sevm of the MD patients was not significantly different from persons with spinal muscular atrophy. The DEVM of the muscular dystrophy patients was significantly less (P less than 0.001-0.05) than any other group. No correlation could be found between age, heart rate, type or severity of dystrophy and SEVM or DEVM values. The echocardiogram was more selective in correctly identigying muscular dystrophy patients than the electrocardiogram. The abnormality in DEVM was present despite lack of symptoms, normal cardiovascular examination, normal chest X-ray and normal electrocardiograms in 18 of 22 patients. We believe that the DEVM correlates with myocardial relaxation.
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