Introduction: The most common systemic autoimmune diseases, as the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are associated with accelerated atherosclerosis and increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The authors' aim was to determine the endothelial dysfunction and the accelerated atherosclerosis in patients with undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD), in a preliminary phase of defined connective tissue diseases. Patients and methods: Twenty-two UCTD patients and twenty age and sex-matched controls were included. Using high-resolution B-mode ultrasound, the authors' measured the intima-media thickness (IMT) of the common carotid artery (CCA), and the diameter of brachial artery at rest, during reactive hyperemia, and after sublingual glyceryl trinitrate admininistration. The clinical, the demographical status and the serological profile of UCTD patients were also assessed. Results: There was no significant difference between the groups considered to the traditional risk factors. The endothelium dependent vasodilatation was significantly impaired in UCTD patients as compared to the controls (5.3 ± 3.03% vs. 8.85 ± 4.02%, P < 0.002). The authors' have not found significant difference between the two groups either at the endothelium independent vasodilatation or at the CCA-IMT. CCA-IMT correlated significantly with the age (R = 0.819, p < 0.001) and with the anti-DNA antibody levels (R = 0.563, P < 0.008). Conclusions: The endothelium dependent vasodilatation of patients with UCTD is reduced before development of a defined connective tissue disease and the potentially, atherogen treatment. The endothelium dependent vasodilatation is a more sensitive method to determine an early atherosclerotic process. The authors' found moderate correlation between the CCA-IMT and the anti-DNA antibody levels.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - dec. 1 2005|
- Early atherosclerosis
- Endothelial dysfunction
- Intima-media thickness
- Undifferentiated connective tissue disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas