Plaza Cano MM, Garcia de Albeniz Martinez XA, de Andres Copa P, Braun Saro B, Suarez Alvarez C, Garcia de Aguinaga ML, Estirado de Cabo E, Guinea Esquerdo J, Posada de la Paz M. Diagnostic performance of echocardiography in the follow-up of patients with toxic oil syndrome. Rev Esp Cardiol. 2003 Dec;56(12):1195-201.

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Toxic oil syndrome is an epidemic, multisystemic disease that appeared in Spain in 1981, and was caused by the consumption of rapeseed oil denatured with 2% aniline. The disease is similar to eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. One of the cardiovascular disorders caused by this syndrome is pulmonary hypertension. We conducted a study to assess the validity of our indications for echocardiography in the follow-up of cardiovascular disorders in patients with this disease.

PATIENTS AND METHOD: These patients are followed at our center with a standardized protocol for annual check-ups. From December 1997 through July 2002, a total of 1993 patients were examined. In this period we performed a total of 487 echocardiographic studies in 424 patients. The clinical records were reviewed to assess the indications for echocardiography according to the most recent guidelines for the clinical application of echocardiography of the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, and the indications were grouped into several categories. The diagnosis was recorded from the cardiologist's reports at the hospital where echocardiography was done. We calculated the sensitivity, specificity and positive likelihood ratio.

67% of the echocardiographic examinations were indicated to investigate possible pulmonary hypertension. About one-tenth of the studies (476 studies, 9.9%) led to a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension. Sensitivity was highest (83%) for suspected pulmonary hypertension. Specificity was very high for most of the other indications.

CONCLUSIONS: This study does not allow us to draw general conclusions about the cardiovascular disorders associated with toxic oil syndrome. However, echocardiography appears to be a good follow-up technique to diagnose complications such as pulmonary hypertension in these patients.

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