Endothelial dysfunction and the effects of TNF inhibitors on the endothelium in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: a systematic review

Curr Pharm Des. 2014;20(4):513-28. doi: 10.2174/138161282004140213123852.


Background: Epidemiologic data support the association of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Shared pathogenesis in endothelial dysfunction may underlie psoriasis and atherosclerosis. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors may modulate endothelial dysfunction seen in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Objective: To perform a systematic review that investigated endothelial function in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and the effect of TNF inhibitors on endothelial function in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Methods: MEDLINE (1980-October 2012), Web of Science, the EULAR abstract database, and the AAD annual meeting abstract archive were searched for cross-sectional or longitudinal studies that 1) examined endothelial function in patients with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, or 2) investigated the effect of TNF inhibitor therapy on endothelial function.

Results: Twenty articles and four abstracts with 2261 patients evaluated endothelial function in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, which was measured by pulse wave velocity, flow-mediated dilation, nitroglycerine-induced vasodilation, carotid intima-media thickness, peripheral arterial tonometry, or aortic stiffness parameters. The majority of the data suggests that patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have significantly increased arterial stiffness, impaired endothelial-dependent vasodilation, increased carotid intima-media thickness, and decreased aortic elasticity compared to the general population. Two out of three studies showed that TNF inhibitors improved endothelial function in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Limitations: Measurements of endothelial function were not standardized across studies.

Conclusions: The preponderance of literature suggests that endothelial function is significantly impaired in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis compared to the general population. Preliminary evidence suggests that TNF inhibitors may improve endothelial function in the psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis populations.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / immunology
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / immunology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Etanercept
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use
  • Infliximab
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / immunology
  • Psoriasis / physiopathology
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Systemic Vasculitis / epidemiology
  • Systemic Vasculitis / etiology
  • Systemic Vasculitis / prevention & control
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab
  • Adalimumab
  • Etanercept