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A novel approach to cardiovascular disturbances in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders treated with long-acting injectable medication

Authors Andor M, Dehelean L, Romosan AM, Buda V, Radu G, Caruntu F, Bordejevic A, Manea MM, Papava I, Bredicean CA, Romosan RS, Tomescu M

Received 8 September 2018

Accepted for publication 8 November 2018

Published 25 January 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 349—355

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S186892

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Minodora Andor,1,* Liana Dehelean,2,* Ana-Maria Romosan,2,* Valentina Buda,3 Gabriela Radu,1 Florina Caruntu,1 Aurora Bordejevic,1 Minodora Marinela Manea,4 Ion Papava,2 Cristina Ana Bredicean,2 Radu Stefan Romosan,2 Mirela Tomescu1

1Medical Semiology II, Department of Internal Medicine I, “Victor Babeş” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timişoara, Romania; 2Discipline of Psychiatry, Department of Neurosciences, “Victor Babeş” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania; 3Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, 2nd Department, “Victor Babeş” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timişoara, Romania; 4Department of Psychology, Medical Education, “Iuliu Haţieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

*These authors contributed equally to this work and thus share first authorship

Purpose: This research article assesses the cardiovascular impact of long-term injectable antipsychotic therapy on patients diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. In our study, we attempted to quantify the potential causes of cardiovascular damage, assess cardiovascular parameters, and correlate them with the time elapsed from the onset of the psychosis until the initiation of injectable antipsychotic therapy, as well as the duration of long-acting therapy, and finally, to compare two of the most utilized long-acting injectable (LAI) medications (olanzapine vs risperidone).
Patients and methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 64 patients of 2 outpatient clinics undergoing treatment with LAI antipsychotics for schizophrenic spectrum disorder. The study reports outpatients’ clinical data, laboratory blood sample findings, routine echocardiography, as well as speckle tracking echocardiography.
Results: Among patients with longer durations of pre-long-acting antipsychotic treatment, body mass indices, mitral velocity wave values (E and A waves), and the global longitudinal strain (GLS) measurements significantly correlated with patients’ myocardial contractility. The study also found that GLS was significantly lower in the group in which pre-LAI duration was prolonged, and was not influenced by the duration of LAI treatment. Furthermore, patients receiving olanzapine showed significantly improved myocardial contractility as measured by the aforementioned parameters, in comparison with patients treated with risperidone.
Conclusion: The results of our study indicate that patients suffering from schizophrenia and who are left untreated or poorly treated for a longer period of time may develop myocardial impairment. The changes may be both secondary to a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and may also be generated by the disease per se. The group who received olanzapine demonstrated improved results for a longer period of time without proper medication.

Keywords: schizophrenic patients, speckle tracking echocardiography, myocardial dysfunction


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