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Keywords:

  • multiple sclerosis;
  • radionuclide angiocardiography;
  • ventricular ejection fraction decrease

Recent studies have shown that mitoxantrone is effective in patients with active multiple sclerosis (MS) and that cardiac monitoring is usually required. However, right and left ventricular ejection fractions (VEFs) have never been studied in MS patients as compared with control subjects. Radionuclide angiocardiography (RA) was performed to assess right and left VEFs at rest in 40 consecutive patients with active definite MS [15 men and 25 women; mean age 33.9 ± 10 years; mean disease duration 8 ± 6.5 years; 18 had relapsing–remitting and 22 had secondary progressive forms of the disease; mean Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score 4.8 ± 1.9]. The control group consisted of 40 subjects free of neurological or cardiovascular disease (17 men and 23 women; 44.6 ± 13.4 years of age). The VEF values obtained in the control group defined the normal limits (right VEF 32–54%; left VEF 50–74%). A statistically significant decrease of right (P=0.02) and left (P < 0.0001) VEFs was found in MS patients as compared with control subjects. RA showed pathological results for right (7.5%), left (10%) and both (7.5%) VEFs in 25% of MS patients. No correlation was found between VEF and sex, age, disease duration, disease course, EDSS score or previous treatment. Autonomic impairment, which frequently occurs in MS patients, may have accounted for the decrease in VEFs. Further physiological studies are required to determine factor responsible for the decrease of VEFs in MS.