Investigation of subclinical atherosclerosis in psoriatic arthritis patients with minimal disease activity

Rheumatol Int. 2015 Aug;35(8):1385-92. doi: 10.1007/s00296-015-3228-y. Epub 2015 Feb 11.


The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis among psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients without any cardiovascular disease (CVD) or traditional cardiovascular risk factors through measurement of endothelial function and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and correlated with disease-related risk factors. Twenty patients with PsA according to classification criteria for psoriatic arthritis and 20 age- and sex-matched controls were included. Patients with risk factors for cardiovascular disease were excluded. Carotid IMT was measured using two-dimensional carotid ultrasonography (USG). Endothelial function was determined by measuring flow-mediated endothelial-dependent vasodilatation (FMD %) and nitrate-induced dilatation (NID %) using brachial artery USG. Additionally, serum asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) level was obtained using ELISA methodology. In this cross-sectional study, FMD % was significantly more decreased among PsA patients versus control group [mean 11 % (median (range) %10.5 (8-15 %)] and mean 13.2 % [median (range) 12, 8 % (8.1-17.6 %), respectively; p = 0.01]. There was no significant difference in NID %, ADMA level and mean IMT or maximum IMT results. FMD % did not show a significant correlation with clinical and laboratory data of PsA patients. This study showed that endothelial dysfunction may be present in PsA patients with no CVD and traditional cardiovascular risk factors. The study findings lend support to the previous reports that suggested a potential relationship between PsA and atherosclerotic disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arginine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Arginine / blood
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / blood*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / complications
  • Asymptomatic Diseases
  • Atherosclerosis / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / complications
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brachial Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endothelium, Vascular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / complications
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vasodilation


  • N,N-dimethylarginine
  • Arginine