Purpose: To assess the impact of sarcoidosis on endothelial function by measuring carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and serum levels of malondialdehyde and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
Materials and methods: We prospectively analyzed 41 patients with sarcoidosis (9 men, 32 women) with a mean age of 44.9±10.2 (SD) years and 34 healthy subjects (9 men, 24 women) with a mean age of 37.26±8.9 (SD) years who served as a control group. Sarcoidosis patients receiving steroids were included in Group 1 while those not under steroid treatment were included in Group 2. CIMT measurements were performed using B-mode ultrasound. Malondialdehyde and VEGF serum levels were obtained in all sarcoidosis patients and control subjects.
Results: Both right and left CIMT was significantly higher in Group 1 and Group 2 than in control subjects. Serum levels of malondialdehyde and VEGF in Group 1 and Group 2 were significantly higher than in healthy subjects. No differences in CIMT, malondialdehyde and VEGF were found between Group 1 and Group 2.
Conclusion: Sarcoidosis results in increased CIMT, VEGF and malondialdehyde serum levels. However, there was no difference in terms of CIMT, VEGF and malondialdehyde levels between sarcoidosis patients with or without steroid treatment, suggesting that new treatment strategies for sarcoidosis vascular involvement should consider this result.
Keywords: Carotid intima-media thickness; Duplex Doppler ultrasound; Malondialdehyde; Sarcoidosis; Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
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