In the contrary to other rheumatologic disorders, there have been limited numbers of studies investigating the cardiac involvement in patients with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), although the disease may carry a potential for cardiovascular disorders because of sustained inflammation during its course. In the present study, we used high usefulness tissue Doppler echocardiography for detailed analysis of cardiac changes in FMF patients. The study population included 30 patients with FMF (11 men, 19 women; mean age, 35 +/- 7 years, mean disease duration, 15.4 +/- 7.6 years) and 30 healthy subjects as controls (12 men, 18 women; mean age, 33 +/- 7 years). The diagnosis of FMF was established according to the Tell-Hashomer criteria. Left and right ventricular functions were measured using echocardiography comprising standard two-dimensional, M-mode, and conventional Doppler as well as tissue Doppler imaging. The conventional echocardiographic paratemeters were similar apart from left ventricular relaxation time was longer (107 +/- 25 vs 85 +/- 10 ms, p< 0.001, respectively) in patients with FMF. According to the tissue Doppler measurements, while systolic velocities of both ventricles were not different, diastolic filling velocities of left ventricle including E'(m) (12.6 +/- 3.4 vs 14.7 +/- 3.3 cm/s, p=0.04), A'(m) (10.1 +/- 2.6 vs 8.6 +/- 2.0 cm/s, p=0.015), and E'(m)/A'(m), (1.24 +/- 0.4 vs 1.71 +/- 0.5 cm/s, p=0.012) values were statistically different between the groups. Left ventricular myocardial performance indices and right ventricular diastolic functions were found similar between two groups. In addition, there were no significant correlations between the disease duration, clinical features, and echo cardiograph i c parameters. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that although systolic functions were comparable in the patients and controls, left ventricular diastolic function indices were impaired in FMF patients by using tissue Doppler analysis.