News | July 03, 2012

New Echocardiographic Methods Find Cardiac Dysfunction in One of Four Morbidly Obese Patients

July 3, 2012 — Researchers have announced the results of a study that highlights new echocardiographic methods that can detect latent systolic function in obese patients.

“Obesity is a major public health problem in the United States, and increases the risk of various cardiovascular diseases. Our study evaluated both the relaxation and contraction phase of the heart’s function in morbidly obese patients referred for preoperative evaluation prior to bariatric surgery. We found that two out of five morbidly obese patients have abnormalities in the relaxation phase of the heart (stiff hearts). Furthermore, one in five of those with relaxation abnormalities also have early evidence of contraction abnormalities,” explained Farooq A. Chaudhry, MD, Associate Chief of Cardiology, Director of Echocardiography and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY, senior author of the study.

The study, led by primary investigator Harikrishna Makani, also from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, included 340 patients who were referred for stress echocardiography for pre-operative evaluation prior to bariatric surgery. The authors utilized echocardiographic blood and tissue Doppler imaging parameters specifically assessing the relaxation and contraction phase of the heart. They found that abnormalities in the relaxation phase in this patient population are frequently accompanied by early contraction abnormalities as well.

A poster based on the results will be displayed on Monday, July 2, in the poster and exhibit hall at the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) 23rd Annual Scientific Sessions at the Gaylord National, National Harbor, Md. Researchers will be available in the Hall from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

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