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Systemic diseases and other conditions: introduction 

Systemic diseases and other conditions: introduction
Systemic diseases and other conditions: introduction

Andreas Hagendorff

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date: 27 January 2022

Cardiac structures and their function as well as the vascular system can be affected by general systemic influences. Exceptional physiological conditions like competitive sports or pregnancy cause typical, but normally reversible alterations in the heart. Certain systemic diseases will cause cardiovascular alteration and damage, which can be life-threatening or can introduce the development of myocardial failure due to humoral, immunological, or inflammatory affections on the myocardium or the valves. In the following chapters in this section, the echocardiographic findings which can be documented due to the physiological compensatory effects in athlete’s heart as well as in pregnancy are described. Then, the typical echocardiographic characteristics in patients with systemic diseases are described with respect to the main cardiac target which is affected. The targets of the systemic diseases are the coronary arteries, the heart valves, the myocardium, the pericardium, as well as the right ventricle.

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