Background Growing interest exists on the role of markers of subclinical cardiovascular disease as independent predictors of cardiovascular events. Poor data are available on the role of these markers as prognostic factors for Behçet's syndrome (BS).
Objectives The primary aim was to explore Intima-Media-Thickness (IMT), mean arterial diameter and distensibility (DC) in a group of patients with BS, comparing these data with a healthy control group and a disease control group; the secondary aim was to correlate the vascular parameters with demographic/clinical profile.
Methods Thirty BS patients (females:12;mean age±SD:43±10.5; mean disease duration±SD:13±5.8) fulfilling the ISG criteria were prospective enrolled. Demographic data, level of disease activity, frequency of smokers, hypertension, family history of cardiovascular risk factors, body mass index (BMI) and current therapies were analysed. For each subject, ultrasound B-mode image sequences of right common carotid arteries were acquired and analysed by an automatic system (Carotid Studio,Quipu) for the measurement of IMT and mean arterial diameter. In addition, carotid pulse pressure (PP) was estimated by tonometry and DC coefficient was obtained. The systolic and diastolic carotid diameters were automatically measured on the distal wall of the common carotid artery, 1–2 cm beneath the bifurcation. Carotid diameter was calculated as the distance between media-adventitia interfaces. Cross-sectional DC was estimated through the variations in arterial cross-sectional area and blood pressure during systole. DC was computed as DC=ΔA/(PP*A) where A is the diastolic lumen area, ΔA is the stroke change in lumen area, and PP is the local pulse pressure.
Results At time of evaluation, 4/17 patients presented active disease (50% ocular involvement, 25% joint involvement, 25% gastro-enteric involvement; mean BS activity score 5). Mean IMT±SD value resulted of 0.57±0.81, mean arterial diameter±SD value was 6.879±0.81 and mean DC± SD 27.3±14.34. All the vascular parameters considered were significant correlated with BMI, while only IMT and DC were also significant correlated with arterial hypertension. Using a correction analysis for age and sex, we found significant correlations between mean arterial diameter and disease activity and between DC and disease duration. These data resulted significantly different compared to healthy control and a disease control groups, in terms of smaller arterial diameter and higher DC.
Conclusions Our data have shown that there is a consistent influence of disease activity and duration of disease on mean arterial diameter and DC, respectively. Thus, it is desirable that future pharmacological researches on BS target on this issue.
Acknowledgements Seyahi E, Ugurlu S, Cumali R, Balci H, Ozdemir O, Melikoglu M, Hatemi G,
Fresko I, Hamuryudan V, Yurdakul S, Yazici H. Atherosclerosis in Behçet's
Syndrome. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2008 Aug;38(1):1–12.
Seyahi E, Ugurlu S, Cumali R, Balci H, Ozdemir O, Melikoglu M, Hatemi G,Fresko I, Hamuryudan V, Yurdakul S, Yazici H. Atherosclerosis in Behçet'sSyndrome. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2008 Aug;38(1):1–12.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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