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Infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the most common causes of viral hepatitis worldwide. Multiple extrahepatic manifestations of HCV infection have been recognized. In this study we aimed to examine right ventricular systolic function and pulmonary artery pressure in HCV patients. The study included 50 HCV patients (mean age; 34±12 years) and 50 normal persons (mean age; 28±11 years) as control group. Transthoracic echocardiography was performed on all the participants. Right ventricular systolic parameters, pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) were compared between these two groups. In patients with HCV, the right ventricular fractional area change (RV FAC), tricuspid annular plane excursion (TAPSE) and RV myocardial systolic velocity (St) values were lower than the control group (31 ± 10 vs 48 ±12 %; 13.5 ± 1.5 vs 19.2 ± 3.4 mm and 8.3 ± 1.1 vs 17.7 ± 3.3 cm/s all p values<0.001;respectively); the right atrium (RA) and RV diameters were higher than controls (4.8 ± 1.3 vs 3.6 ± 0.6 cm, p<0.001; 4.4 ± 0.8 vs 3.3 ± 0.5cm p<0.001, respectively). Additionally systolic pulmonary artery pressure and PVR were higher than controls (36.3 ± 9.9 vs 23 ± 7.8 mmHg, 3.5 ± 1.1 vs 2.1± 0.8; p<0.001, respectively). Conclusion: The findings showed that HCV infection may be associated with right ventricular systolic dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension.
Hepatitis C virus, cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, pulmonary artery pressure, pulmonary vascular resistance