Background: Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease associated with increased risks of myocardial infarction and stroke. Systemic treatments for moderate to severe psoriasis can reduce skin and joint inflammation; however, their effects on vascular inflammation are unknown.
Methods and results: This randomized, controlled trial included 30 patients with moderate to severe psoriasis and a history, or multiple risk factors, of coronary atherosclerosis. Patients were randomized (2:1) to receive either adalimumab subcutaneously for 4 months or to control nonsystemic treatment (topical therapies or phototherapy). Vascular inflammation was measured in the carotid artery and ascending aorta at baseline and week 15, by (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake on positron emission tomography. The change in target:
Background: =0.004) but not for the control group (-0.10 [95% CI, -0.32 to 0.12]; P=0.35). The difference between study arms for this primary end point did not reach statistical significance (-0.13 [95% CI, -0.01 to 0.14]; P=0.32). The change in target:
Background: =0.021) and in carotid arteries (-0.32±0.15, P=0.037) when analyzed separately (secondary end points). Changes in other positron emission tomography indices also improved significantly with adalimumab compared with controls in the ascending aorta and carotids. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein decreased by 51% at week 16 with adalimumab compared with 5% in controls (P=0·002).
Conclusions: The study did not meet its primary end point because the change in target:background ratio in patients randomized to adalimumab was not different from controls. Although adalimumab may reduce vascular inflammation in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, this effect is not large enough to be demonstrated in a study with a small sample size.
Clinical trial registration: URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00940862.