Background: Patients with liver cirrhosis suffer from various cardiac abnormalities, which may influence their outcome. Tissue Doppler recording of the mitral and tricuspid annular diastolic velocities can be used to assess diastolic function accurately. There has been very little published information regarding RV diastolic function in liver cirrhosis. This study is aimed at evaluating right and left ventricular systolic and diastolic functions in post hepatitis C liver cirrhosis patients using conventional echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging.

Methods: This study was conducted on 75 adults from inpatient and outpatient services of the Theodor Bilharz Research Institute (TBRI) hospital. They were divided into two groups: Group 1 included 50 patients with post hepatitis C liver cirrhosis; and Group 2 included 25 normal adults serving as a control group. All patients and normal volunteers were subjected to clinical examination, laboratory evaluation, abdominal ultrasonography and echocardiographic studies with tissue Doppler imaging for evaluation of left and right ventricular systolic and diastolic functions.

Results: The mitral flow showed significant increase in A wave velocity, as well as DT and IVRT with a significant decrease in E/A ratio in Group 1 compared to Group 2 (P<0.01). The tricuspid flow also showed a significant increase in A wave velocity (P<0.01) and DT (P<0.05) in addition to a significant decrease in E wave velocity and E/A ratio (P<0.01) in Group 1 as compared to Group 2. At the mitral annulus, we found a significant increase in average Aa velocity, E/Ea ratio and average systolic wave velocity S, in addition to a statistically significant decrease in the average Ea velocity and average Ea/Aa (P<0.01) in Group 1 as compared to Group 2. At the tricuspid annulus, there were significant increases in the average Aa velocity (P<0.01), S velocity (P<0.01) and E/Ea (P<0.05) together with a statistically significant decrease in the average Ea/Aa and average Ea velocity (P<0.01) in Group 1 compared to Group 2.

Conclusion: It is important to evaluate the cardiovascular function in every patient with cirrhosis, especially if the patient is a candidate for any intervention that may affect haemodynamics.

Keywords: Tissue Doppler Imaging, liver cirrhosis, systolic function, diastolic function
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