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Reumatismo. 2009 Oct-Dec;61(4):298-305.

[Subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with psoriatic arthritis: a case-control study. Preliminary data].

[Article in Italian]

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Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Università di Padova, Italia.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), correlated with some traditional risk factors of atherosclerosis and with PsA-related disease factors.


Forty-one patients and 41 healthy subjects were evaluated for intima-media thickness (IMT) and flow-mediated dilation (FMD), using carotid duplex scanning. IMT values were expressed like IMT mean (cumulative mean of all the IMT mean) and M-MAX (cumulative mean of all the higher IMT). Subclinical atherosclerosis markers were correlated with age, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure in both groups, with duration of arthritis, duration of psoriasis, tender and swollen joints, BASDAI (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index), BASFI (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients.


IMT mean and M-MAX were both higher in PsA patients compared with controls (0.7+/-0.15 vs 0.62+/-0.09 mm; p<0.01 and 0.86+/-0.21 vs. 0.74+/-0.13 mm; p<0.01 respectively). FMD was smaller in patients than in controls (5.9+/-2 vs 7.5+/-2.8%; p<0.01). Univariate analysis showed a correlation between IMT mean and SBP (r=0.217; p=0.05) and a correlation between M-MAX and age (r=0.392; p<0.001), BMI (r=0.252; p<0.05), SBP (r=0.446; p<0.001) in both groups. In PsA patients M-MAX resulted correlated with ESR (r=0.338; p<0.05) and BASDAI (r=0.322; p<0.05).


PsA patients exhibited endothelial dysfunctions which is an early marker of subclinical atherosclerosis, as well as an higher IMT. An interesting correlation between M-MAX and PsA activity index (ESR and BASDAI) was found.

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