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We have reported that psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients without overt cardiovascular diseases have evidence of premature atherosclerosis as indicated by an increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT).1 Whether an increase in IMT reflects current (but reversible) inflammation of the vessel wall rather than more permanent structural vessel changes in PsA has never been assessed. We undertook a prospective, observational study to determine whether a 12-week treatment of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) blockers may reduce IMT in patients with active PsA, and whether the changes in IMT can be sustained in patients who were continued on long-term TNFα blockers.
Twenty consecutive PsA patients with active disease were recruited to receive TNFα blockers. After 12 weeks, nine patients continued (group 1) while 11 patients discontinued TNFα blockers due to financial constraints (group 2). Twenty PsA patients who were naive to TNFα blockers were recruited as controls (group 3). Patients …