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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 …
Funding This study is supported by a Chinese University research grant, a Hong Kong Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation research grant, and an educational grant from Janssen Pharmaceutical (Hong Kong). The study drugs were provided by Janssen Pharmaceutical (Hong Kong) and Wyeth (Hong Kong), who had no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis or writing of the manuscript.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.