Objective This study aims to evaluate a noninvasive method for screening of early vasculopathy in high risk patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) was measured in RA group (n=132) and age, gender, height-matched healthy volunteers (n=132). Vasculitis specific biomarkers, biochemical and immune indices were recorded in RA patients. Multiple regression analysis was performed in RA group to determine the independent predictors of baPWV. Echo-tracking technique was used to measure pressure elastic coefficient (Eρ) and stiffness parameter (β) of brachial and posterior tibial artery in 25 RA patients and 48 matched controls.
Results The baPWV in RA group was significantly increased as compared with control group (15.0 [9.2–30.0] m/s versus 12.6 [9.6–16.0] m/s, respectively, p<0.0001). On multiple regression, baPWV correlated independently with age, heart rate, mean arterial pressure and perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (p-ANCA) (R2adj=0.6868, p<0.0001; F=33.32, p<0.0001; power=85%; n=107). The Ep (477.9±138.1 versus 315.2±111.9 KPa; p<0.0001) and β (34.90±11.00 vs 24.99±7.81; p<0.0001) of posterior tibial artery in RA group were significantly higher than those in control group. There were no significant difference in Eρ and β of brachial artery between the two groups (p>0.05).
Conclusions There was a significant increase of baPWV, Ep and β of posterior tibial artery in RA group compared with control subjects, which related well to p-ANCA. BaPWV may provide a simple, noninvasive method for screening of early subclinical vasculopathy in RA patients.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- arterial stiffness