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Monday, July 18, 2011

Acute Effects of Low Doses of Ethanol on Left and Right Ventricular Function in Young Healthy Subjects

Moderate-to-high blood concentrations of ethanol acutely impair conventional echocardiographic measures of left ventricular (LV) performance, but the effects of low concentrations are unclear. This study explored the acute effects of low blood concentrations of ethanol on sensitive and load-independent indices of LV and right ventricular (RV) function.

This is a crossover experimental study conducted in 64 young healthy volunteers. Participants were asked to drink a light dose of Italian red wine equivalent to 0.5 mg/kg of ethanol, and an equal volume of fruit juice in separate experiments. The following measurements were taken at baseline and 60 minutes after the challenges: tissue Doppler mitral annulus systolic velocity (S’) and excursion (MAPSE), early diastolic velocity (E’), its ratio to late diastolic velocity (E’/A’), and the ratio of mitral-to-myocardial early diastolic velocities (E/E’); and tricuspid annulus systolic velocity (tricuspid S’) and amplitude (TAPSE), early diastolic velocity (tricuspid E’), and its ratio to late diastolic velocity (tricuspid E’/A’).

Blood ethanol concentration after wine intake was 0.48 ± 0.06 g/l. Compared with the control challenge, ethanol yielded a decrease in all measures of LV function (S’, −9.7%; E’, −11.2%; E’/A’, −13.4%; MAPSE, −8.8%; p < 0.05 for all). Among indices of RV function, increases in tricuspid E’/A’ ratio and TAPSE were observed (+24.5% and +9.0%, respectively; p < 0.05 for both).

Low blood concentrations of ethanol acutely impair LV function and increase some indices of RV function in young healthy individuals.

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