Author(s): Belizna CC, Richard V, Primard E, Kerleau JM, Cailleux N,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The relationship between atherosclerosis and the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is unclear. This study compared intima-media thickness (IMT), arterial stiffness, and presence of plaques in APS patients and controls to evaluate the risk of atherosclerosis in this patient population. The study also explored the relationship between these parameters and cardiovascular risk factors. METHODS: Carotid and femoral IMT and stiffness were measured in 58 APS patients and 58 controls. In addition, antiphospholipid antibodies and cardiovascular risk factors were investigated and other systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-related serologic parameters were measured. Details of the patients' previous medical history and information regarding disease treatment were analyzed. RESULTS: A significant difference was found between IMT, arterial stiffness, and the presence of plaques in patients and controls (P<0.05). All of these parameters were independent of cardiovascular risk factors. No differences in these parameters were found between patients with primary APS and those with secondary APS, or between patients with thrombosis and those with obstetric manifestations. There was no correlation between SLE disease activity and atheroma. Patients with plaques had taken a lower total dose of corticosteroids and/or hydroxychloroquine. CONCLUSIONS: Some markers of early atherosclerosis could be detected in both primary and secondary APS, irrespective of clinical manifestations. These data suggest that atherosclerosis might be an intrinsic finding in APS patients, independent of cardiovascular risk factors, and that immunosuppressive treatment may prevent atherosclerosis.
This article was published in Semin Arthritis Rheum
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology