Objective: To determine whether endothelial dysfunction was present in a cohort of patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) without overt cardiovascular disease or classic cardiovascular risk factors attended to in a community hospital.
Methods: Fifty patients with PsA who fulfilled the Moll and Wright criteria were recruited from Hospital Xeral-Calde (Lugo, Spain). Patients seen during the period of recruitment who had classic cardiovascular risk factors or had experienced cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events were excluded. Fifty healthy matched controls were also studied. In all patients and controls, endothelial function was determined by measuring flow-mediated endothelial dependent vasodilatation (FMD%) and endothelial independent vasodilatation (GTN%) by brachial ultrasonography.
Results: FMD% was significantly impaired in patients compared with controls (mean, median [range] 6.3%, 6.1% [0.3-13.4%] versus 8.2%, 8.2% [0.0-21.2%]; P = 0.008). However, no significant difference existed between patients and controls in GTN% or baseline diameter. A significant correlation between C-reactive protein level and erythrocyte sedimentation rate at the time of disease diagnosis and FMD% was found (P < 0.04). No significant FMD% and GTN% differences were observed when patients with PsA with polyarticular pattern were compared with the remaining patients with PsA.
Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that patients with PsA without cardiovascular risk factors or clinically evident cardiovascular disease also exhibit endothelial dysfunction. These observations provide a basis for the potential association between PsA and atherosclerotic disease.