Anna Raczkiewicz , 1 , Aleksandra Juszkiewicz 1 , Bartłomiej Kisiel 1 , Artur Bachta 1 , Joanna Kur-Zalewska 1 , Krzysztof Kłos 2 , Olga Bujakowska 1 , Małgorzata Tłustochowicz 1 , Witold Tłustochowicz 1
30 May 2016
The aim of the study was to investigate the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis and predictors of change in carotid intima-media measures in early rheumatoid arthritis patients (eRA) as compared to chronic RA patients and patients without arthritis.
Fifty-five consecutive eRA patients were assessed at the time of diagnosis and after 1 year of therapy. Fifty-five sex- and age-matched chronic RA patients and 29 patients without inflammatory disease were used as controls. Carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) and carotid plaques were measured at baseline and after follow-up. In eRA patients ultrasound assessment of hand joints was performed before and after treatment. Carotid artery intima-media thickness was assessed again after 2 years in 44 eRA patients.
Carotid artery intima-media thickness progression after 1 year of therapy was higher in eRA patients compared to both control groups ( p = 0.017) and correlated with symptoms duration ( p = 0.017) and DMARD monotherapy ( p = 0.015). Ultrasound progression of hand joint erosions was associated with longer symptoms duration ( p = 0.006). After 2 years of observation CIMT progression was similar in all examined groups.