Psoriasis is a model Th1-mediated inflammatory disease associated with increased incidence of stroke and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The mechanism behind these associations is unknown, however abnormal HDL particle composition measured by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has been shown to be associated with CVD. Using [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT), a validated surrogate marker of CVD, we assessed whether HDL particle size and concentration were associated with vascular inflammation in patients with psoriasis. Patients with psoriasis were prospectively enrolled (439 aortic samples from 10 patients). Lipoprotein profiles using NMR spectroscopy were obtained and the relationship between vascular inflammation within the thoracic aorta by FDG-PET/CT was analyzed for association with lipoprotein particle characteristics. The plasma total cholesterol (206 mg/dL (IQR 154-229)), LDL (105 (90-161)), and triglyceride levels were within normal range (151 (94-191)) while HDL levels were low (28.9 (27.2-31.3)); however, the NMR profile demonstrated an atherogenic profile with increased small LDL and HDL particles. Total HDL particle concentration (p<0.001) and HDL particle size (p<0.001) were associated with decreased aortic inflammation, while concentration of small HDL particles was associated with increased inflammation (p<0.001). The association of total HDL particle concentration (β -0.0113, p=0.002) and small HDL particle concentration (β 0.026, p<0.001) with aortic inflammation persisted following adjustment for CVD risk factors. Total HDL particle concentration and small HDL particle concentration were associated with vascular inflammation within the thoracic aorta in psoriasis. These findings suggest that HDL particle characteristics may play an important role in psoriatic vascular inflammation and CVD.
Keywords: FDG PET CT; Psoriasis; atherosclerosis; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol particle; inflammation.