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Cardiac involvement in systemic diseases 

Cardiac involvement in systemic diseases
Cardiac involvement in systemic diseases

Andreas Hagendorff

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date: 09 December 2021

Systemic diseases are generally an interdisciplinary challenge in clinical practice. Systemic diseases are able to induce tissue damage in different organs with ongoing duration of the illness. The heart and the circulation are important targets in systemic diseases. The cardiac involvement in systemic diseases normally introduces a chronic process of alterations in cardiac tissue, which causes cardiac failure in the end stage of the diseases or causes dangerous and life-threatening problems by induced acute cardiac events, such as myocardial infarction due to coronary thrombosis. Thus, diagnostic methods—especially imaging techniques—are required, which can be used for screening as well as for the detection of early stages of the diseases. Two-dimensional echocardiography is the predominant diagnostic technique in cardiology for the detection of injuries in cardiac tissue—e.g. the myocardium, endocardium, and the pericardium—due to the overall availability of the non-invasive procedure.

The quality of the echocardiography and the success rate of detecting cardiac pathologies in patients with primary non-cardiac problems depend on the competence and expertise of the investigator. Especially in this scenario clinical knowledge about the influence of the systemic disease on cardiac anatomy and physiology is essential for central diagnostic problem. Therefore the primary echocardiography in these patients should be performed by an experienced clinician or investigator. It is possible to detect changes of cardiac morphology and function at different stages of systemic diseases as well as complications of the systemic diseases by echocardiography.

The different parts of this chapter will show proposals for qualified transthoracic echocardiography focusing on cardiac structures which are mainly involved in different systemic diseases.

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