Non-invasive assessment of arterial stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of literature studies

Pasquale Ambrosino, Marco Tasso, Roberta Lupoli, Alessandro Di Minno, Damiano Baldassarre, Elena Tremoli, Matteo Nicola Dario Di Minno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality. Pulse-wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index (AIx) are non-invasive methods to assess arterial stiffness, a marker of CV risk. We performed a meta-analysis evaluating the impact of RA on aortic-PWV, brachial-PWV, brachial-ankle (ba-) PWV, AIx, and AIx normalized to a 75 beats/minute heart rate (AIx@75).Materials and Methods. Studies evaluating the relationship between RA and aortic-PWV, brachial-PWV, ba-PWV, AIx, and AIx@75 were systematically searched. A total of 25 studies (1,472 RA patients, 1,583 controls) were included.Results. Compared to controls, RA patients showed a significantly higher aortic-PWV (mean difference 1.32 m/s; 95% CI 0.77, 1.88; P <0.00001), ba-PWV (MD 198.42 cm/s; 95% CI 45.79, 342.76; P = 0.01), AIx (MD 11.50%; 95% CI 5.15, 17.86; P = 0.0004), and AIx@75 (MD 6.99%; 95% CI 4.92, 9.06; P <0.00001), with a trend toward a higher brachial-PWV (MD 0.34 m/s; 95% CI -0.03, 0.70; P = 0.07). When analyzing studies on early RA, the difference in aortic-PWV among RA patients and controls was even higher (MD 2.30 m/s; 95% CI 1.15, 3.45; P <0.0001).Conclusion. Meta-regression showed that a more severe inflammatory status impacted on aortic-PWV, AIx, and AIx@75. Arterial stiffness, a recognized marker of CV risk, is increased in RA patients. This alteration is associated with the severity of the inflammatory status and is present even in early-stage disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-467
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Medicine
Volume47
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 18 2015

Keywords

  • Arterial stiff ness
  • augmentation index
  • cardiovascular risk
  • pulse-wave velocity
  • rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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