Background Synovial angiogenesis, defined as a complex process of developing new blood vessels from the existing microvascular bed, is considered to be an important early step in the course and pathogenesis of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
Objectives To investigate the involvement of angiogenesis markers (VEGF, sVEGF-R1, sVEGF-R2, angiopoetin-1, angiopoetin-2) in early juvenile idiopathic arthritis and its possible relevance to disease activity and the degree of ultrasound-detected synovial inflammation and angiogenesis.
Methods Serum levels of vascular markers were measured in 17 patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (aged 1,5-17) and 19 age-matched healthy controls. Ultrasound examination of inflamed joints was performed in each JIA patient and synovial angiogenesis was assessed by means of Power Doppler ultrasonography (PDUS) and the 4th grade vascularity scale.
Results VEGF serum levels were significantly higher in JIA patients than in healthy controls (0,42±0,39 ng/ml vs 0,20±0,16 ng/ml; p<0,05). The same sequence was observed for sVEGF-R1 and sVEGF-R2. Large variation of angiopoetin-1 and -2 levels in serum was observed in JIA patients and healthy controls. PDUS examination evaluated increased synovial microvascular blood flow in 16 of 17 patients (94%)
Conclusions This pilot study has shown the high correlation between PDUS synovial microvascular blood flow, serum angiogenesis markers and clinical synovitis in JIA patients. It may indicate important role of synovial angiogenesis in pathogenetic mechanism of JIA.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared
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