Findings on doppler echocardiography in asymptomatic intravenous heroin users

Guillem Pons-Lladó, Francesc Carreras, Xavier Borrfás, Josep Cadafalch, Montserrat Fuster, Josep Guardia, Miquel Casas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


To detect potential cardiac abnormalities induced by intravenous heroin use, 68 persons without a previous episode of infective endocarditis were studied by Doppler echocardiography. A control group of 41 normal subjects was studied for comparison. The following measurements were considered: (1) diameter of heart chambers, (2) systolic left ventricular function, (3) morphologic valvular abnormalities, (4) presence of valve regurgitations, (5) Doppler Indexes of diastolic function, and (6) estimation of pulmonary arterial resistances. Results showed no significant differences regarding the size of the heart chambers or systolic left ventricular function. A significantly higher incidence of vaivular abnormalities (focal thickening or valve prolapse) was found in drug addicts (p = 0.0009) at the mitral and tricuspid valves, as was valvular regurgitation detected by Doppler (p = 0.04). Also, a significantly prolonged deceleration time of mitral and tricuspid early diastolic Doppler flow was found in the study group (p = 0.0001 and 0.027, respectively) although a different hemodynamic condition in the study group (pharmacologically reduced preload) precluded these findings to be attributable to an actual diastolic dysfunction. No differences were observed in pulmonary arterial resistances. It is concluded that mitral and tricuspid valve abnormalies can be detected by echocardiography in asymptomatic intravenous heroin users, whereas no apparent effects are observed in morphologic or functional parameters of cardiac structures other than the valves. © 1992.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-241
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 1992


Dive into the research topics of 'Findings on doppler echocardiography in asymptomatic intravenous heroin users'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this