Subclinical Cardiovascular Involvement in Autoimmune Diseases: Role of Coronary Flow Reserve
Many published papers have analysing the close relationship between atherosclerosis and systemic autoimmune diseases because atherogenesis and its complications play a major role in the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality of such patients. It is also important to underline the pivotal role of specialists in the early diagnosis of preclinical abnormalities as this allows the timely implementation of appropriate therapeutic and preventive measures, which should form the operational backbone of the work of the teams involved in studying and treating systemic autoimmune diseases. In particular, primary prevention is essential in order to avoid cardiovascular events such as acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction and sudden death.
The aim of this review was to highlight the central role of an echocardiographic stress examination and the
non-invasive assessment of coronary flow reserve as a means of detecting endothelial dysfunction and sub-clinical atherosclerosis with the final objective of improving the prognosis and outcomes of even asymptomatic patients with or without overt cardiovascular diseases.