Implication of new atherosclerotic carotid plaques in the cardiovascular outcome of patients with rheumatoid arthritis
1 Department of Rheumatology, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, IFIMAV, Avenida de Valdecilla s/n, E-39008, Santander, Spain
2 Cardiology Division, Hospital Lucus Augusti, c/ San Cibrao s/n, 27003, Lugo, Spain
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:105 doi:10.1186/ar3733
See related research by Zampeli et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/14/2/R44Published: 12 March 2012
Early detection of atherosclerosis is of major importance to reduce the increased incidence of cardiovascular (CV) complications observed in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Prospective studies have shown that an abnormally increased carotid intima-media thickness and the presence of plaques assessed by carotid ultrasound are good markers to predict the development of CV events in these patients. Age, classic CV risk factors, and corticosteroid use are also predictors of new plaque formation in patients with RA. Active treatment of the disease may decrease the inflammatory burden, leading to a reduction in the progression of subclinical atherosclerosis in these patients.