9 Citations (Scopus)


Congestive heart failure (CHF) is the second most prevalent cause of death in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The systemic inflammatory state in RA patients is deemed responsible for this finding. Anti-inflammatory treatment with anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy decreases CV risk and subsequently might improve the cardiac function by lowering the overall inflammatory state. This study investigated the effect of anti-TNF on the cardiac function in RA patients. Fifty one RA patients were included, of which thirty three completed follow-up. Included patients were >18 years, had moderate–high disease activity and no history of cardiac disease. Patients were assessed at baseline and after six months of anti-TNF treatment. Patients underwent conventional Speckle tracking and tissue Doppler echocardiography in combination with clinical and laboratory assessments at baseline and follow-up. The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and global longitudinal strain (GLS) showed no changes during follow-up, LVEF 63% (±9) to 62% (±8) p = 0.097 and GLS −20 (±4) to −20 (±3) p = 0.79, respectively. Furthermore, E/e’ nor E/A changed significantly between baseline and follow-up, respectively 8 (7–9) and 8 (7–9) p = 0.17 and 1.1 (±0.4) and 1.1 (±0.4) p = 0.94. Follow-up NT-proBNP decreased with 23%, from 89 ng/L (47–142) to 69 ng/L (42–155), p = 0.10. Regression analysis revealed no association between change in inflammatory variables and cardiac function. Echocardiography showed no effect of anti-TNF treatment on the cardiac function in RA patients with low prevalence of cardiac dysfunction. Moreover, NT-proBNP decreased, possibly indicating (subtle) improvement of the cardiac function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3145
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Anti-TNF
  • Cardiac function
  • Echocardiography
  • Inflammation
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

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