Background Systemic sclerosis is an autoimmune disease characterized by microvascular damage and fibrosis. There are several studies that shown macrovascular damage with arterial stiffness (AS) and the risk of cardiovascular complications. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CF-PWV) and augmentation index (AIx) are two competent methods to determine AS and predictors of cardiovascular disease. Association between AS and microvascular damage is unknown in systemic sclerosis patients.
Objectives To determine the frequency of arterial stiffness in patients with systemic sclerosis and its association with clinical manifestations.
Methods We performed a cross-sectional study; patients with diagnosis of systemic sclerosis according to ACR/EULAR 2013 criteria were included and the control group was selected from a database of mechanical vascular service. AS was non-invasively assessed by Pulse pen device and AIx was evaluated by tonometry. Statistical analysis was done with SPSS v22 software, we calculated mean and standard deviation, for continuous variables we used Student t test, categorical variables were analyzed by using chi-square or Fisher's exact test. The correlation of AS and clinical variables was assessed with Spearman's correlation.
Results Forty seven patients were included and compared with 39 healthy subjects; mean age of study group was 48±14. vs control group 47±13.7 (p=0.08) 93% were female. Prevalence of AS was 11% vs 3% p=0.039. AS was more frequent in limited systemic sclerosis sub-group and we found correlation with abnormal capillaroscopy, Rho 0.292 p=0.04.
Conclusions Arterial stiffness is more prevalent in patients with limited systemic sclerosis and association with abnormal caillaroscopy suggest that both macro and microvascular damage is present in these patients and could explain the presence of early atherosclerosis and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared