Open Access

Original research. Regional Wall Motion Abnormalities and Ventricular Function in Acute Peri-Myocarditis


Introduction: Myocardial involvement in pericardial diseases and the effect of pericardial inflammation and effusion on the function of the left ventricle (LV) is still a controversial issue. The present study aimed to evaluate LV regional wall abnormalities in patients with acute peri-myocarditis, using 3D echocardiographic assessment of LV contractility. Material and methods: The study included 56 subjects divided into two groups: Group 1 - 28 subjects with acute peri-myocarditis and Group 2 - 28 healthy controls. All subjects underwent a complete clinical examination, including laboratory tests. 3D echocardiography was performed to assess the left ventricular end-diastolic (EDV) and end-systolic volumes (ESV), and to calculate specific indexes for global and regional ventricular contractility, such as the index of contraction amplitude (ICA) and the regional index of contraction amplitude (RICA) for each segment corresponding to the region affected by peri- myocarditis. Results: 3D echocardiography showed no differences between the groups regarding the EDV (p = 0.2), the LV ejection fraction (Group 1: 55.82% ± 3.36% vs. Group 2: 57.21% ± 4.69%, p = 0.2). The ESV however, was significantly higher in Group 1 compared to Group 2 (55.78 ± 5.45 ml vs. 52.20 ± 6.43 ml, p = 0.04). ICA was similar between the groups (p = 0.2). However, the RICA was significantly lower in Group 1 compared to Group 2 (2.27 ± 0.63 vs. 5.16 ± 0.54, p <0.0001). Conclusions: The extension of the inflammatory process from the pericardium to the adjacent myocardial layer may affect the contractility of the LV. A good association exists between peri-myocarditis and the regional contractility abnormalities of the LV.