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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 7354691, 15 pages
Review Article

Early Diagnosis of Cardiovascular Diseases in Workers: Role of Standard and Advanced Echocardiography

Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Antonio Vitarelli

Received 4 September 2017; Accepted 4 December 2017; Published 16 January 2018

Academic Editor: Ramazan Akdemir

Copyright © 2018 Lidia Capotosto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) still remains the main cause of morbidity and mortality and consequently early diagnosis is of paramount importance. Working conditions can be regarded as an additional risk factor for CVD. Since different aspects of the job may affect vascular health differently, it is important to consider occupation from multiple perspectives to better assess occupational impacts on health. Standard echocardiography has several targets in the cardiac population, as the assessment of myocardial performance, valvular and/or congenital heart disease, and hemodynamics. Three-dimensional echocardiography gained attention recently as a viable clinical tool in assessing left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) function, volume, and shape. Two-dimensional (2DSTE) and, more recently, three-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (3DSTE) have also emerged as methods for detection of global and regional myocardial dysfunction in various cardiovascular diseases and applied to the diagnosis of subtle LV and RV dysfunction. Although these novel echocardiographic imaging modalities have advanced our understanding of LV and RV mechanics, overlapping patterns often show challenges that limit their clinical utility. This review will describe the current state of standard and advanced echocardiography in early detection (secondary prevention) of CVD and address future directions for this potentially important diagnostic strategy.