Background Systemic sclerosis (Ssc) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease, that involves various tissues and organs, including the cardiovascular system. Ssc patients might suffer from a number of complications – including cardiovascular system diseases. Diagnostic imaging is an important tool in assessment of vascular lesions, and ultrasound (including Doppler ultrasound) is one of the most important examinations, which allow to scan for presence of atherotic lesions, assess the intima-media complex thickness as well as provide measurements of the blood flow parameters.
Objectives The aim of study was to determine if there is any difference in the intima-media complex thickness as well as in blood flow parameters measured using Doppler ultrasound examination in scleroderma patients and the general population.
Methods 35 patients, aged 19–75, with diagnosed systemic scleroderma were examined using a Doppler ultrasound examination. Thickness of intima-media complex (IMT) approximately 2 centimeters from the carotid bulb was assessed for both right and left common carotid artery (CCA). The standard parameters of blood flow were measured – including peak systolic velocity (PSV), end diastolic velocity (EDV), as well as resistive index (RI), pulsative index (PI) and standard deviation (SD) was measured in the common carotid arteries, internal carotid arteries (ICA) as well as in the vertebral arteries (VA).
Results The mean IMT value in CCA was approximately 0.63mm (0.35 – 0.9mm).
The mean, minimal and maximal values measured in CCA equalled respectively: PSV – 68.7 cm/s (22.4–94 cm/s), EDV – 19,7 cm/s (4.7–30.35 cm/s), PI – 1.95 (0.41–2,09) and RI – 0.68 (0.28–0.81). In ICA the measured values were as follows: PSV – 68.4 cm/s (38.65–96.9 cm/s); EDV – 23.6 cm/s (9,05–38.6 cm/s), PI – 1.16 (0.76–1.71) and RI – 0.65 (0.37–0.79); in VA PSV – 46.5 cm/s (26.75–75.35 cm/s); EDV – 12.4 cm/s (6.1–22 cm/s), PI – 1.38 (0.6–2.28) and RI – 0.73 (0.34–1.33).
A positive correlation between the age of examined subjects and the IMT was found (p=0.002; R=0.49). Additionaly, a negative correlation between the IMT and the EDV was found (p=0.008, R=-0.44).
Conclusions The mean thickness of intima-media complex in the examined group of SSc patients is within the values that were established for a healthy population, however a further investigation, including a control group study will allow to evaluate whether there is no correlation between systemic sclerosis and increased IMT.
A negative correlation between IMT and EDV was shown, which is an interesting finding, and could be confirmed in a control group study and on a larger group of patiens.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared